QCI Endorsements: 2009 Edition
I'm going to try to keep this short, as all of my picks are surely unsurprising to anyone who reads this regularly. I also think that its worth mentioning that the lack of challengers really does send a message that Davenport residents are satisfied with the direction the city is headed. When controversial items like the stormwater fee pop up, everyone wants to run for city council. When things are smooth sailing, people are content to stick with the status quo. Here are my picks, including quick blurbs about the uncontested races as well.
Mayor - Bill Gluba is a bit too much of a politician for my tastes, but he certainly is an enthusiastic cheerleader for Davenport. He deserves reelection.
At-Large - Gene Meeker and Jason Gordon. Meeker has done a good job of being the voice of experience and dignity on the council, so he certainly deserved reelection. Ian Frink has been my favorite Alderman during his time on the council, and I am sorry to see him go. He appointed Jason Gordon to the Parks Commission, and recommended him for city council as well. I'm going to trust Ian and believe that Mr. Gordon will be the most similar successor. Despite the crazy conspiracy theories about his political connections, if he can gain the respect of liberal Shelley, he can't be much of a right wing activist.
1st Ward - Nathan Brown has been a great alderman, both in representing the wishes of his ward, and being open to both sides of the amenity/infrastructure debate.
2nd Ward - I don't really know much about either of these guys. I wish Cooper was running again. For an endorsement, I will go with Bill Edmond, just because he's done a reasonable job during his partial term. I may not agree with some of his votes, but his ward probably does. At least he talks less than Hamerlinck...
3rd Ward - Bill Boom, of course. I've been a Boom supporter for years, and he's done an excellent job in his 2 years on the council. His supposed lack of responding to service request-type issues is more than made up for his big picture and teamwork skills on the council.
4th Ward - Nobody? Ambrose is a product of his time, but that time is the past. Its disapointing that he didn't have a challenger.
5th Ward - Audra Cornwell. I was able to meet her a few weeks ago, and she seems to have a good grasp of the issues facing Davenport. Bill Lynn has been considerably less terrible these past 2 years, but that doesn't eliminate the things he did in the past. Getting rid of the rental inspection department, bringing in slumlord-friendly ordinances, and consistently siding with the anti-downtown crowd aren't signs of a good Alderman. I don't know that his Libertarian agenda truly represents the wishes of the 5th ward.
6th Ward - Even though I sometimes forget his name, Jeff Justin has done a fine job on the council.
7th Ward - Barney Barnhill just keeps hanging in there. His years of experience on the council and good voting record have earned him another term.
8th Ward - Mike Matson, who recently received an award for his work with the ROTC, has been an asset to the council. With the importance of the Arsenal, hopefully his military connections can benefit all of us.
Complete Un-Endorsement: Keith Meyer. While he may well have been one of the best Alderman ever at responding to requests from his constituents about graffiti, potholes, etc, there is a lot more to being on the city council than service requests. Actively working to derail development, constantly speaking negatively about his city, arguing with city staff, and turning the council chambers into a circus are things we do not need from an Alderman. Give him a job tracking down potholes and graffiti throughout the city and maybe we can all be happy.
As far as Predictions, I will take all of my picks except for Cornwell. I hope she wins, but Lynn has been reelected when he deserved to lose too many times already. That will be the race to watch Tuesday, in my opinion.