Community-service organization 1. American Red Cross 2. United Way of the Quad Cities Area 3. Gilda's Club Quad Cities Charitable event 1. Birdies for Charity 2. Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
3. Marine Toys for Tots Foundation

Thing the Quad Cities needs most
1. More music venues
2. Better jobs
3. Improved bridge system

Elected local official
1. Rock Island Mayor Mark Schweibert
2. Davenport Alderman Keith Meyer
3. Davenport Alderman Charlie Brooke

Best elected local official - Rock Island Mayor Mark Schweibert

Like any good politician, Mark Schweibert knows the value of modesty. When asked what distinguishes him from other elected public servants from the Quad Cities, Schweibert initially deferred to the voters - both the people who elected him Rock Island mayor five times, and the people who selected him best elected local official in the Reader's Best of the Quad Cities poll. He then professed that longevity probably had something to do with his success: "I've been at it for so long."

But he's been at it for so long because he's good at it. Since getting involved in local politics in 1981, Schweibert - an attorney by trade - has earned a reputation as a straight-talking advocate of open, transparent government that provides important services efficiently. "We've been honest with people," Schweibert said. "People will embrace responsible taxes."

Fundamentally, Schweibert believes that government is (or at least ought to be) the voice of the people, not some evil behemoth to be fought at every turn. "I don't happen to believe that government is bad," he said. Politicians and bureaucrats ought to "run government like a good business, but a business with a conscience."

Schweibert hinted that when his fifth term expires in 2009, he might step down and let somebody else become mayor of Rock Island. But he didn't preclude running for a different office. "There's always that interest," he said. But "I'm certainly not looking for anything."

Jeff Ignatius

Waste of public funds

1. Davenport skybridge
2. Davenport River Renaissance (tie)
2. Stormwater fees (tie)

Urban-renewal project
1. Downtown Davenport
2. District of Rock Island
3. Downtown Moline

Local TV-news anchor/reporter
1. Paula Sands, KWQC Channel 6
2. Mike Mickle, KWQC Channel 6
3. Gary Metivier, KWQC Channel 6

Local TV news station
1. KWQC Channel 6
2. WQAD Channel 8
3. WHBF Channel 4

Radio station
1. KCQQ 106.5 FM
2. WXLP 96.9 FM
3. KBEA 99.7 FM (tie)
3. KORB 93.5 FM (tie)
3. WLLR 103.7 FM (tie)
3. WOC 1420 AM (tie)

Local radio personality
1. Dwyer & Michaels, KCQQ 106.5 FM
2. Jim Fisher, WOC 1420 AM (tie)
2. Kathleen Gallagher, KORB 93.5 FM (tie)

Local newspaper columnist/reporter

1. Bill Wundrum, Quad-City Times
2. Barb Ickes, Quad-City Times
3. Sean Leary, The Dispatch/Rock Island Argus

Support the River Cities' Reader

The QCA’s Only Free Press Can Really Use Your Support


"We're the River Cities' Reader, and we've kept the Quad Cities' only independently owned newspaper alive and free since 1993. Now we find our ability to continue providing all the features you love in serious jeopardy without the financial support of our readers.

So please help the Reader keep going with your one-time, monthly, or annual support. With your financial support the Reader can continue providing uncensored, non-scripted, and independent journalism alongside the Quad Cities' area's most comprehensive cultural coverage." - Todd McGreevy, Publisher