Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Promise Loses badly

According to the Scott County Election Summary Report, it was 60.91% voting for No, and 39.09% voting Yes. The voters have spoken, and they didn't like the Promise.

In my opinion, a big part of this had to do with how the process was handled. Despite taking over a year, every detail wasn't hammered our. Special elections always rub people the wrong way, and this one was no exception. The commissioned UpJohn study was a piece of junk, which gave for more ammunition to the against side than the pro side. The pro-Promise side didn't do a good enough job of explaining how the concept would work, as evidenced by commenters on the QCTimes website that still didn't understand the concept as late as YESTERDAY.

Even if everything had been done perfectly, its impossible to say if this issue would have passed. One thing I do hope, is that it forces city leaders to reconsider the idea of special elections being a good way to pass things that they worry wouldn't fly during a general election.


Anonymous said...

Awwwww. No socialized college education for Davenport kids. Boo hoo.

QuadCityImages said...

Except for all the state and federal money that already goes to state colleges, and community colleges, of course. This is different though... somehow.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Davenport should offer free health care to all people who move here. Eh!?!?! Eh!?!?! I just saw that light bulb appear over QuadCityImages' head. If you can't bribe 'em to move here for free college, maybe you just to need to up the ante!

QuadCityImages said...

I don't see how that has any connection to extending public education by a few years.

Anonymous said...

What's the potential upside? Could be huge.
What if it dosent work? Rally the same yahoos agaisnt it now and vote it out.
I don't see the harm in trying

Anonymous said...

Mistake #1: You hired Victory Enterprises to help with the campaign. They suck at pretty much everything, but especially elections. I used to work for that sorry outfit and can tell you stories.

Mistake #2: Thinking people would actually buy this whole bill of goods anyway. Davenport residents might not be as educated as the author of this blog, but they can smell a pile of crap from a mile away.

pioneer98 said...

The "bill of goods" is working great in Kalamazoo. I agree with the assessment that there were a lot of unanswered questions, though, especially for something this complicated. They didn't do a great job in that regard, so I'm not surprised at all with the result.

Oh well. We'll just have to find a different way to get young people engaged in our community.

Anonymous said...

Well, one way to get them engaged would be to stop them from shooting each other.

By the "Promise" working great in Kalamazoo, are you referring to the city's 5.4% decline in population between 2000 and 2007...or the fact that 35.5% of all Kalamazoo residents live at the poverty level.

With stats like that, who needs an economic depression? Maybe if Davenport just voted to become a third-world country, that would get Bono's attention, and he would pressure foreign leaders to give the city billions in aid.

Anonymous said...

Despite my household accounting for three of the no votes, I won't gloat and I do find the first couple of gloaters here somewhat gauche.

Our no votes weren't due to any lack of politicing the message on the part of the yea people, but were decided when we began seeing signs for the issue from the firemen. If that lobby was for it, there must be something in it for them. Sure enough they somehow finagled their way into riding the coattails of a future college-tuition program.

3 NO votes.

Anonymous said...

Well QCI, the people you refer to as 'the vocal minority' and 'the againsters' turned out in droves today to defeat this proposal.

Anonymous said...

The Senior Citizens of Davenport understood the proposed plan QCI. That is exactly why they turned out to vote it down. It was bad for seniors, and bad for Davenport.

QuadCityImages said...

How is it bad for seniors when it caps their property taxes?

Bad for people whose kids already went to college but have 20 years until they become seniors, I could see. Bad for seniors, I do not see.

I never said the silent majority supports everything I support. Just that they're a lot less negative in general than the loud minority. Plenty of people voted against Promise who voted for River Renaissance, or who don't care for Lynn, Meyer, Yerington, etc. As I said many times, there were real reasons both for and against the proposal.

Anonymous said...

It was a special election, which means it turned into a contest of which group could rally the troops best.

The anti-Promise folks completely destroyed the pro-Promise folks in political strategy, despite being outspent.

I really don't think one can make any coherent call that the overall political landscape in Davenport has shifted due to this vote, however.

My prediction? The usual suspects group of Nelson, McGreevy, Lynn, Yerington, Meyer, etc. will view this vote as a mandate for their libertarian ideals, will work hard to grasp more political power in the municipal elections next fall, but will fail to significantly alter the balance in city government because their message doesn't resonate with the more casual voters.

Just a prediction.

Anonymous said...

QCI, here's what most seniors thought of the tax cap proposal. There would be no benefit to any of us, because the cap would take effect this year, and our houses are assessed at the highest amount in history. If you follow what is happening all over, and especially on both coasts, assessed value is dropping through the floor. Seniors feel it won't be long before the same happens here, so a home currently valued and capped at $100,000 this year might be assessed and taxed at $50,000 next year, and the cap would be of no benefit to us. By the time inflation raises our assessment above the $100,000 level again, most of us will be 6 feet under, or drewling vegetables at Ridgecrest Village.

If they wanted to get seniors attention on this, they would have stipulated that the cap was the lowest assessment either currently, or if it dropped in future years, the lowest amount would be the cap amount. Seniors would have appreciated a bill like that. Seniors deserve this anyway, as we don't use up many city services such as domestic calls to police ect.

I hope this explains our position to you QCI.

Anonymous said...

qci, you should take down your clip art of mark nelson with a red slash through his name. This man has a job and family. It’s bad enough when this type of thing happens to people in office, but for a citizen to try to voice what the majority of the community feels, is wrong. QCI how would you like it if you read your moms name on a blog like that? The QC Times took after him for political reasons. You need to rise above them.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Mark Nelson being a "private citizen", here is some information from the U.S. Supreme Court regarding what elevates one to "public figure" status:

"A fairly high threshold of public activity is necessary to elevate a person to public figure status, Brown v. Kelly Broadcasting Co. (1989) 48 Cal.3d 711, 745, and, as to those who are not pervasively involved in public affairs, they must have "thrust themselves to the forefront of particular public controversies in order to influence the resolution of the issues involved" to be considered a "limited purpose" public figure. Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. (1974) 418 U.S. 323, 345."

Mr. Nelson certainly thrust himself to the "forefront of particular public controversies".

pioneer98 said...

Agree with 9:42.

The "silent majority" didn't get as excited about supporting the Promise as the loud minority did to defeat it.

Anonymous said...

10:01, the housing bubble here expanded no where near the extent that it did on the coasts. Your $100k house is not going to fall to $50k.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you're going to be lucky if they shave anything off at all. It's not Florida or Arizona.

There are no mountains of abandonded brand new homes lining the streets here to be driving down your property value.

Anonymous said...

Mark brought himself in to the fray, the Times reported on it like every other news organzation did/should.

This didn't happen by accident. The guy has made himself a public figure by doing something he knew would sends waves accross the City. Did he think they'd ignore this on a project of this size and popularity? Give me a break.

QCI's got every right to leave that logo right where it is until this guy can prove otherwise. The fact that he suddenly has "no comment" on the matter speaks volumes to me.

Davenport Growing Paines said...

I am not so sure promise failing is a bad thing... but, the money needs to actually be used for capital improvements. I have already paid for one tire due to pot holes, and 53rd street is nothing short of an offroad experience. Maybe a capital investment in the infrastructure out in the business park might make a difference.

QuadCityImages said...

He could have just pointed out that he didn't send a cover letter, since the Times continued calling it that for some reason. Instead he said he couldn't comment, but then continued to comment about how bad he thinks downtown is. Unless he had said similar things in his appraisal, why would he have gone into that?

The real question is how many more developers has he scared off that haven't gone to the media? If you cite 9-year-old examples of the Gentry Shop leaving downtown, and say that the city's hard to work with, companies with less invested here than RestorationSTL may have just taken his advice and passed on Davenport. When I rail on the lack of market rate apartments downtown, then find a possible contributing cause, you bet I'm going to be against that.

pioneer98 said...

Its funny how these people complain so loudly about the business environment in Davenport, while at the same time they are trying to run a company like Restoration Saint Louis out of town.

Anonymous said...

The heart of those involved was in the right place; the application was just plain wrong. Helping to make higher education more affordable is a great idea, and it does motivate people. Look at our armed services.

Public Service Hours are a joke. No matter where or how they are applied, the servant ends up basically in the way. Besides, students, no matter where they are educated, do not stay in those communities. This includes places like New York, Florida, Arizona and California. Even so, we are assuming that the majority of those receiving a free education actually finish their education. In my experience, many such free rides result in complete, much less quality educations.

Since there are no new jobs on which potential new residents could raise their children, the only peolpe responding to the promise would be those already living in The Q.C.'s. They're working jobs already here. Davenport would become a bedroom community for the rest, starting a war of such programs. This would benefit no one.

A more appealing alternative might have been to offer college reimbursement for those who live, work, or just attend school here, once they have graduated. Of course, it would have to be based on a number of years spent in the local work force, paying local taxes.

It always works better to reward someone for performance rather than bribe them to perform.

QuadCityImages said...

See, the "performance" is the 12 years of living here, and the reward is that your kid gets free college if he can make it.

You have to remember that this was mostly an economic development tool. In the most cynical view, it doesn't matter what the kid does once we get his parents to live here for 12 years. If they all fail out after 1 semester it would cost a heck of a lot less.

Obviously I don't actually feel that way, but its just an example of how this was looked at in so many different ways by people supporting it. Some, like Malin, said it was purely economic development. The school district was all about increase enrollment. Some were about having an increasingly educated workforce. Some, like me, all of the above.

Anonymous said...

Why not focus on a better primary education and crime? Problem is, that can't be done with just public money. It takes the people to choose to make the place better.

Free college is not going to attract younger people. At least not the X-er's that I grew up with.


Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 3/04/2009 11:13 AM

"you should take down your clip art of mark nelson with a red slash through his name. This man has a job and family. It’s bad enough when this type of thing happens to people in office, but for a citizen to try to voice what the majority of the community feels, is wrong. QCI how would you like it if you read your moms name on a blog like that? The QC Times took after him for political reasons. You need to rise above them."

QCI has every right to make a statement against Nelson, even if Nelson's grandma is reading. It's just an inane and petty statement that seems to say more about QCI than Nelson.

That's the big surprise of this election, the againsters were the civil ones.

QuadCityImages said...

The whole "naysayers were the civil ones" thing was exaggerated. Nelson wasn't that civil at the Redstone meeting, such as dismissing Croken's profession as essentially a bunch of liars.

Also, my anti-Nelson symbol had little to do with the Promise and much to do with people working against downtown success.