Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Anti-Bettendorf Rant

The thing that got me thinking about this again was this QCTimes editorial about the QC Sports Center, believe it or not. What really got my goat was this 15+ year old quote:

“Where do we draw the line?” former Bettendorf alderman Joe Douglas said in a 1994 council meeting. “I’m not sure we should be bankrolling the facility. There are many types of projects that benefit the Quad-Cities as a whole. Each city funds these projects on their own without funding from other cities.”

Yes... each city provides things that benefit the QC as a whole. Or at least, that's how it should work. In reality, what does Bettendorf bring to the table? I count a total of one QC-wide amenity, which is the Family Museum. I'm not talking things like libraries and parks, which all of the QCs provide, but metro-wide amenities like the Figge, Botanical Center, or iWireless Center.

Bettendorf is around 1/3rd the size of Davenport, and 3/4 the size of each of the cities of Rock Island and Moline. Does anyone believe that Bettendorf provides 1/3rd as many QC amenities as Davenport, or 3/4 as many of the amenities as Rock Island or Moline provide? This doesn't stop them from using all of the culture and amenities that the QC has to offer to market to and attract residents to Bettendorf, of course.

Then there's the additional factor of Bettendorf having a meager fire department and relying on Davenport's help for anything larger than a dumpster fire. I'd imagine it would also cost Bettendorf quite a bit to build their own Sewer Treatment Plant rather than using Davenport's. So they take advantage of these things provided to them by their larger neighbor, which allows them to keep their taxes low, which they then use as a selling point when luring away Davenport's residents.

I suppose the main thing that bothers me is that Bettendorf is essentially leeching off of Davenport. Their "Premiere" city could not keep its taxes low and provide the quality of life that many of its citizens want without Davenport. Yet on the other side of the coin, Davenport would actually be in much better shape without Bettendorf siphoning off Davenport's wealthier citizens and potential residents.

Bettendorf wouldn't be as good without Davenport.
Davenport would be better without Bettendorf.
Maybe they should change the name of their tiny riverfront recreation area to Leech Park.


Anonymous said...


How about Splash Landing - better than the public pools in Davenport and Rock Island.

How about Palmer Hills Golf Course - better than any of the other public golf courses in the Quad-Cities.

How about the best 4th of July celebration, parade and fireworks that are attended by thousands of NON-Bettendorfers?

How about Crow Creek Park - which has dozens of sports leagues used by people from all over the Quad-Cities?

How about a section of the Duck Creek Parkway that is actually maintained and kept more crime-free and friendly than the sections in Davenport?

How about the boat ramp at Leach Park that doesn't have homeless people and thug kids hanging it around it?

QuadCityImages said...

Fail. All of those things, or very similar versions, are available in other Quad Cities.

Palmer Hills ain't all that special either. It does get the prize for most ridiculous hole in the QC though.

Anonymous said...

Thats why Davenport should ditch the triple sewer tax increase and make Bettendorf pay more for the treatment plant.
Pay, or build your own. It's that simple, but of course staff wouldn't endorse something so low brow...

Anonymous said...

Well now you are changing your argument.

In your post you stated "I suppose the main thing that bothers me is that Bettendorf is essentially leeching off of Davenport. "

Now, you are acknowledging that Bettendorf DOES have similar (and in some cases better) amenities than does its larger neighbor.

Your first post was completely hyperbolic and not at all credible. And now you are backing off of the outrageous statements.

QuadCityImages said...

I never said Bettendorf doesn't provide anything themselves. All I'm saying is that they take a lot more than they give. I'm not backing off from anything I said in the original post.

Anonymous said...

Every mid to large sized metro area in the United States has bedroom community/suburban areas where wealthier people choose to live.

This is the symbiotic relationship that has evolved along with the modern metropolitan statistical area. Raging against Bettendorf "taking advantage" of Davenport is like raging against a pilot fish swimming underneath a shark. It's just the way it is.

Davenport is on the right track in differentiating itself from bedroom communities by putting more resources into making its urban core more livable. That's where the energy and money should go - not trying to replicate a mini-Bettendorf to the north.

C. said...

And how many people from Bettendorf use the QCSC?

I do.

The plan to shut down one ice sheet will pretty much shut out any and all adults who want to play hockey and be able to get ANY sleep on a work night.

Kids hockey and figureskating will get preference.

The 4 adult hockey leagues PLUS the sled hockey program will all get shafted.

Which then leaves the question of where the adults will end up going. I do not see ANY other places in the QCA to play ice hockey as an adult.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the "A Nite In Rock Island" which is on You Tube and sweeping thru Quad City Office Places???


Anonymous said...

Sadly QCI and Gluba are just a couple of incompetent sickos who raise themselves up by smacking others down.That should make a mighty fine and true commercial to attract people to the big Mississippi River town.

John said...

I find a lot wrong with the exurb/suburb/urbs model of development. QCI is sort of skirting around the real issue which is that the poorer residents of the metropolitan area who live in the urban core are forced to subsidize the wealthier suburban/exurban elite. This goes far beyond amenities, these are in fact probably one of the smallest of the inequalities. The real harm comes in the form of fuel prices (people who live closer to their centers of employment don't create as much demand), infrastructure maintenance (we all pay for county roads, freeways, and state hwys but some of us use them less), and of course the cheap labor that allows for the accumulated wealth of the rich/upper middle class to exist. When the privileged flee the urban core because it has higher crime rates, has too many minorities (rich people tend to hate minorities in their neighborhoods), or because it by necessity has higher taxes, they exacerbate existing inequalities of wealth.

Also, how many pounds of CO2 does the average resident of Bettendorf emit each year? I would bet its much much higher than the average davenporter, yet which city provides world class recycling and composting facilities?

Anonymous said...

Bettendorf, Eldridge and Rock Island all have very nice city owned health clubs which Davenport doesn't have.

Davenport does have pot holes, a Homeless Hilton, a rainbow district, graffitti everywhere, high taxes and fees, and a council, city administrator and mayor who just keep thinking of more ways to spend money.

Anonymous said...

The water in Davenport and Iowa both come from a private company, right? Dose the sewer than go to the city?
Are Bettendorf taxes any lower than Davenports?
I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Everybody seems to be looking out for the their own self interest. Things in one city benefits the others.

To the one blabbing about Davenport. You voted for the council. They gave you what you wanted. You don't want rich, poor, gays, skateboarders,art, homeless, ect? Get cracking on getting the National Socialist Party in the council for you. They fit your view of the world.


Anonymous said...

Bettendorf's growth for the most part has already run its course and it is starting to have some of the problems that Davenport has. School enrollment in the Bettendorf School District is declining, just like in Davenport. In fact, their rate of decline has been about the same percentage decline as Davenport the last couple years. PV and North Scott are where the growth is now. (Yes - I'm aware part of PV's district covers Bettendorf - I'm only talking about the area of Bettendorf covered by Bettendorf School District in this case).

Bettendorf's situation could ultimately be far worse than Davenport's in the long term. Someday Bettendorf will probably not be able to under-fund services (like the sewer and fire department). Also, the houses built in a lot of these newer subdivisions are built with much cheaper materials. I doubt they will age very well. Yes, Davenport has a ton of old housing stock, but it has taken 100+ years for Davenport to get to this point. I do not see many of the new houses today lasting 100 years. Some of the cheaper ones will be lucky to last 40 years. And if things do start to turn for the worse for Bettendorf, it lacks the amenities and the urban core to compete with a city like Davenport or Moline.

If things continue like this with no urban planning of any kind, someday PV and North Scott will also be left behind for some new "hot" school district. It's just a matter of time. Unless we finally do some real urban planning.

Anonymous said...

To C at 10:37 - I agree that shutting down one sheet of ice at the QCSC is not a great idea. Maybe Bettendorf should open a sheet. It will get a lot of use.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me? But hasn't Bettendorf had trouble running their own fitness center on Middle Rd for some time? Is it now that the "Y" has taken it over? John, you hit it square on the head my man. Makes a lot of sense.

Anonymous said...

The Bettendorf Athletic Center doesn't lose near as much as the Davenport owned swimming pools, or the loss taken on the Roosevelt Civic Center.

Nobody can lose money better than Davenport.

Anonymous said...

Prove Davvenport's money problems to me...where do you get your numbers? Bettendorf's investment problems with the athletic center are no big secrete. And by the way, look up Gold Gym's address...Davenport.

Anonymous said...

You can't compare the Bettendorf Health Club with Davenport's Gold's Gym because the Bettendorf Heath Club is owned by the city, and Gold's Gym is owned by private individuals, and is very successful. They are currently spending a bundle on updating Golds to keep it fresh and interesting.

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Anonymous said...

8:55 is obviously a graduate of the Davenport School System, and most likely a past student in Barney Barnhill's 3rd period english.

Anonymous said...

8:55: Please tell us what college you go to so we can be sure to never, ever hire anyone who went there.

Anonymous said...

The comparison between Davenport and Bettendorf that Asinine is how the Gold Gym comment was inspired. Bettendorf really doesn't mach up with Davenport's amenities.

Anonymous said...

I guess I am confused on where we have cheap taxes in Bettendorf? I can assure you that my taxes are twice of what the average is on the Iowa side of the QC. Where is your facts to back this rant up?

Delilah said...

Ugh, I can't believe someone listed the rainbow district as something undesirable. No wonder the comment was anonymous. I'd be embarrassed of myself too. Sad, sad sad.