In America, it is still entirely possible for an organized, committed grassroots effort to create change in a fraction of the time it takes Congress, state legislatures, and local municipalities put together. Consider the recently formed Minutemen Project - a citizens' vigilance operation monitoring immigration, business, and government.
When it comes to revitalizing Davenport's downtown, the public has been led to believe that without their hard-earned tax dollars subsidizing private enterprise, we will never grow our community. First it was the two downtown parking ramps, then it was Vision Iowa, then the TIF for Ryan/Lee Enterprises, then John O'Donnell Stadium, then the Isle of Capri boatel - these projects represent the progressive trail of do-or-die projects that taxpayers had to subsidize or we would fail to attract new investment to our community.
There is a hue and cry across this land demanding political reform and accountability. The hubris that abounds, relative to the spending of taxpayers' dollars by government - whether elected, appointed, or simply hired - has gone beyond intolerable to immoral.
It's hard to imagine a six-year old legal battle with a city commission that is out to get you, especially with no substantial evidence to support its claims. Such is the case with Davenport dentist Dr. David Botsko and the Davenport Civil Rights Commission (DCRC) in Naab v.
It never ceases to amaze and inspire me that Davenport, for all its troubles, has real civic heroes living among us. This time it is Bill Ashton of Ashton Engineering with his well-established experience in riverfront development to caution the City of Davenport against the Isle of Capri's proposed 11-story casino hotel on downtown Davenport's riverfront, between Brady and Perry Streets, south of River Drive.
Last June, the Davenport City Council approved a $48-million development agreement with the Isle of Capri to build an 11-story casino hotel with a five-story adjacent parking ramp on downtown Davenport's riverfront, after less than a month of formal review that included the public.
What does it say about Davenport's city council when three senior citizens, who have been active participants at its bi-weekly meetings for many years, are compelled to file a lawsuit in protest of the council's runaway spending, asking the court to intervene, barring any further action until the new council was seated on January 2? On December 9, plaintiffs I.
Municipalities enjoying growth tend toward comprehensive, pro-active land-use planning that prioritizes sustainability, capitalizing on geographic strengths and uniqueness, and employing land-use policies and ordinances that advocate harmony of use for a strong sense of place.
I'll say it again: By casting your vote in next Tuesday's election (November 8), you contribute to enlarging the political playing field for future elections. What this does is force the candidates to deal with a broader range of issues that more accurately reflects the public's concerns.
Navigating the City of Davenport's Web site ( for basic information is not without its challenges. It appears to be selectively filtered and purposely obscure.