[ {"id":"64df3373-84c9-5b32-ad02-f352509bc9b8","type":"article","starttime":"1490493600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-03-25T21:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1490533015","sections":[{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"}],"flags":{"featured":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Democrats determined for 2018","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/article_64df3373-84c9-5b32-ad02-f352509bc9b8.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/democrats-determined-for/article_64df3373-84c9-5b32-ad02-f352509bc9b8.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/democrats-determined-for/article_64df3373-84c9-5b32-ad02-f352509bc9b8.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Ed Tibbetts\netibbetts@qctimes.com","prologue":"It\u2019s been four\u00a0and a\u00a0half months since they suffered devastating losses at the polls, but party leaders said Saturday night at the Scott County Democratic Party\u2019s Red, White and Blue fundraising dinner they\u2019re determined to turn things around next year. About 250 people turned out for the fundraiser at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["politics","democrat","democrats","feingold","jon neiderbach","todd prichard","electoral college","des moines"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"fe0e6eec-b8ec-5f9e-9a29-ae88a5625d39","description":"U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack","byline":"","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":2000,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/e0/fe0e6eec-b8ec-5f9e-9a29-ae88a5625d39/5488749ae5706.hires.jpg","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"413","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/e0/fe0e6eec-b8ec-5f9e-9a29-ae88a5625d39/572d451dc8ea7.image.jpg?resize=620%2C413"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"66","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/e0/fe0e6eec-b8ec-5f9e-9a29-ae88a5625d39/5488749af3f95.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/e0/fe0e6eec-b8ec-5f9e-9a29-ae88a5625d39/5488749b00e52.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/e0/fe0e6eec-b8ec-5f9e-9a29-ae88a5625d39/572d451dc8ea7.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"4ea7b408-f4aa-5b96-8bfc-9bcc272046a8","description":"Russ Feingold","byline":"","hireswidth":267,"hiresheight":300,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/ea/4ea7b408-f4aa-5b96-8bfc-9bcc272046a8/58d721cf82800.hires.jpg","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"267","height":"300","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/ea/4ea7b408-f4aa-5b96-8bfc-9bcc272046a8/58b0ab08b41df.image.jpg?resize=267%2C300"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"73","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/ea/4ea7b408-f4aa-5b96-8bfc-9bcc272046a8/58b0ab08b41df.image.jpg?crop=138%2C101%2C56%2C42&resize=100%2C73&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"220","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/ea/4ea7b408-f4aa-5b96-8bfc-9bcc272046a8/58b0ab08b41df.image.jpg?crop=138%2C101%2C56%2C42"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"749","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/ea/4ea7b408-f4aa-5b96-8bfc-9bcc272046a8/58b0ab08b41df.image.jpg?crop=138%2C101%2C56%2C42"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"64df3373-84c9-5b32-ad02-f352509bc9b8","body":"

It\u2019s been four\u00a0and a\u00a0half months since they suffered devastating losses at the polls, but party leaders said Saturday night at the Scott County Democratic Party\u2019s Red, White and Blue fundraising dinner they\u2019re determined to turn things around next year.

About 250 people turned out for the fundraiser at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds.

Much of the evening was spent lambasting Republicans who are in control of government in Washington, D.C., and Des Moines. Citing proposals to kill the Affordable Care Act to a voter identification bill in Iowa, Democratic leaders urged activists to organize and fight back.

\u201cWe have to stop this nonsense,\u201d said Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, the only Democrat in Iowa\u2019s congressional delegation.

Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat who just formed a group to advocate elimination of the Electoral College, told the crowd that it was time for a new voting rights act.

Some Democrats have called for changing how the nation votes for president after President Donald Trump won the presidency but lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Feingold acknowledged Saturday the Electoral College puts a spotlight on smaller states like Iowa and Wisconsin, but he asked, \u201chow\u2019s that working out for us? Not so well.\u201d

Democrats did some celebrating at the dinner. A number of speakers noted the failure Friday of House Republicans to get a bill passed repealing the Affordable Care Act.

\u201cWhat a great victory for democracy,\u201d Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said.

Still, Democrats are in a state of transition in the aftermath of last year's losses. The Iowa Democratic Party has a new chair. So does the Democratic National Committee, having just chosen Tom Perez.

DNC Vice Chairman Michael Blake was the evening\u2019s keynote speaker. Blake, who worked for former President Barack Obama in Iowa during the 2008 cycle, said beforehand the party is dedicated to work with Iowans \u2014 and not just during presidential elections.

\"We recognize if you want to have real success, you can\u2019t just be here for presidential elections, you can\u2019t just be here for the caucus, you have to be here all the time,\" he said.

A handful of Democrats who are being mentioned as possible candidates for governor also were on hand, including State Rep. Todd Prichard, D-Charles City, state Sen. Nate Boulton, D-Des Moines, Jon Neiderbach, a former school board president from Des Moines, and former Iowa Democratic Party Chair Andy McGuire of Des Moines.

Prichard, who grew up in Davenport, announced last Thursday he\u2019s formed an exploratory committee. Neiderbach already has said he's running.

They spoke later into the evening.

Davenport Alderman Mike Matson, who represents the city's 7th Ward, also said Saturday that he is considering running for governor. Beforehand, Matson said his experience at City Hall, in the military and in education would be a plus. \u201cI think I would be a good leader,\u201d he said.

Matson said he could make a decision whether to run by the end of summer.

"}, {"id":"af959bea-fe5a-577d-a88d-4a030f2449f4","type":"article","starttime":"1490388840","starttime_iso8601":"2017-03-24T15:54:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1490407624","sections":[{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Health care reaction","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/article_af959bea-fe5a-577d-a88d-4a030f2449f4.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/health-care-reaction/article_af959bea-fe5a-577d-a88d-4a030f2449f4.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/health-care-reaction/article_af959bea-fe5a-577d-a88d-4a030f2449f4.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa: \u201cToday is the inevitable result of seven years of choosing cynical political rhetoric over honest policy debate. I remain committed today, just as I have been every day, to work in good faith with anyone in an honest attempt to improve the lives and healthcare of hardworking Iowans.\u201d","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["cheri bustos","dave loebsack","health care","tax","politics","american","victory","message","defeat","objection","age"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"c56d7001-52d5-542d-bc87-2ff4fd99614d","description":"Rep. Dave Loebsack","byline":"","hireswidth":285,"hiresheight":441,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/56/c56d7001-52d5-542d-bc87-2ff4fd99614d/58d598c4eadab.hires.jpg","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"285","height":"441","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/56/c56d7001-52d5-542d-bc87-2ff4fd99614d/58d5988bbc5c3.image.jpg?resize=285%2C441"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"154","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/56/c56d7001-52d5-542d-bc87-2ff4fd99614d/53cda3ebf4217.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"464","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/56/c56d7001-52d5-542d-bc87-2ff4fd99614d/53cda3ec044b2.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1584","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/56/c56d7001-52d5-542d-bc87-2ff4fd99614d/53cda3ebb703b.preview-1024.jpg"}}},{"id":"7a7ed14d-848b-5353-aef6-e5b215c4f120","description":"Busto","byline":"","hireswidth":1531,"hiresheight":1353,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/a7/7a7ed14d-848b-5353-aef6-e5b215c4f120/589bd60d79ae9.hires.jpg","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1531","height":"1353","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/a7/7a7ed14d-848b-5353-aef6-e5b215c4f120/589bd60d783f1.image.jpg?resize=1531%2C1353"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"88","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/a7/7a7ed14d-848b-5353-aef6-e5b215c4f120/589bd60d783f1.image.jpg?resize=100%2C88"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"265","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/a7/7a7ed14d-848b-5353-aef6-e5b215c4f120/589bd60d783f1.image.jpg?resize=300%2C265"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"905","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/a7/7a7ed14d-848b-5353-aef6-e5b215c4f120/589bd60d783f1.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C905"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"af959bea-fe5a-577d-a88d-4a030f2449f4","body":"

U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa:

\u201cToday is the inevitable result of seven years of choosing cynical political rhetoric over honest policy debate. I remain committed today, just as I have been every day, to work in good faith with anyone in an honest attempt to improve the lives and healthcare of hardworking Iowans.\u201d

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill.:

\u201cThe defeat of TrumpCare is a major victory for our children, our seniors and hardworking families across our nation. More than 97 percent of the individuals who contacted my office voiced their strong objection to TrumpCare and I thank all of them for making their voices heard. The American people sent a clear message that no one should be one accident away from bankruptcy, older Americans shouldn\u2019t have to pay an age tax and hardworking families shouldn\u2019t pay more for less coverage. However, our work is not finished. Next week, I hope we can come together and start working across the aisle on real solutions to reduce out of pocket expenses and lower the price of prescription drugs.\u201d

"}, {"id":"8d60080b-0c3f-582a-957e-d2f38e92970a","type":"article","starttime":"1490385600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-03-24T15:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1490421144","sections":[{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"},{"crime-and-courts":"news/local/crime-and-courts"}],"flags":{"featured":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Moline moves to dismiss city clerk's lawsuit","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/article_8d60080b-0c3f-582a-957e-d2f38e92970a.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/moline-moves-to-dismiss-city-clerk-s-lawsuit/article_8d60080b-0c3f-582a-957e-d2f38e92970a.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/moline-moves-to-dismiss-city-clerk-s-lawsuit/article_8d60080b-0c3f-582a-957e-d2f38e92970a.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Devan Patel\ndpatel@qctimes.com","prologue":"Attorneys representing the city of Moline and interim City Administrator J.D. Schulte have submitted a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by City Clerk Tracy Koranda. Michael Atkus, one of the attorneys for the the city and Schulte, filed documents with the Rock Island County District Court on Tuesday arguing against the four counts Koranda claimed in her suit, including a preliminary injunction against placing Koranda on paid administrative leave, violation of the Open Meetings Act, damages pursuant to the Illinois Whistleblower Protection Act and damages for retaliation.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["j.d. schulte","michael atkus","tracy koranda","sonia berg","bob vogelbaugh","john zelnio","maureen riggs","city attorney","rock island county","interim city administrator","moline","rock island county district court","city clerk","stephanie acri","john doak","city council","law","attorney","lawsuit","charge"],"internalKeywords":["#free"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"81e52a3c-6d46-5016-b0d7-2865ff35b04a","description":"Members of the Moline Electoral Board hear testimony in December regarding challenges to petitions submitted by mayoral candidates Stephanie Acri and Bob Vogelbaugh and alderman candidates Sonia Berg and John Zelnio.","byline":"DEVAN PATEL, QUAD-CITY TIMES FILE PHOTO","hireswidth":1662,"hiresheight":1246,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/1e/81e52a3c-6d46-5016-b0d7-2865ff35b04a/5859958201bce.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1662","height":"1246","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/1e/81e52a3c-6d46-5016-b0d7-2865ff35b04a/58599582010ee.image.jpg?resize=1662%2C1246"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/1e/81e52a3c-6d46-5016-b0d7-2865ff35b04a/58599582010ee.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/1e/81e52a3c-6d46-5016-b0d7-2865ff35b04a/58599582010ee.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/1e/81e52a3c-6d46-5016-b0d7-2865ff35b04a/58599582010ee.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}}],"revision":10,"commentID":"8d60080b-0c3f-582a-957e-d2f38e92970a","body":"

Attorneys representing the city of Moline and interim City Administrator J.D. Schulte have submitted a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by City Clerk Tracy Koranda.

Michael Atkus, one of the attorneys for the the city and Schulte, filed documents with the Rock Island County District Court on Tuesday arguing against the four counts Koranda claimed in her suit, including a preliminary injunction against placing Koranda on paid administrative leave, violation of the Open Meetings Act, damages pursuant to the Illinois Whistleblower Protection Act and damages for retaliation.

Koranda was put on paid administrative leave Jan. 25 \"pending an investigation into several allegations that she mishandled paperwork related to the upcoming April 2017 local election, lied under oath during an Electoral Board hearing in December 2016 and gave preferential treatment to some candidates for local office in her official capacity as city clerk,\" according to the city's filing.

Koranda's attorney, John Doak, said he received the city's filing late Thursday and has not had an opportunity to review, so he declined comment.

In December, the Moline election board upheld challenges to the nominating petitions of mayoral candidates Stephanie Acri and Bob Vogelbaugh and City Council candidates John Zelnio and Sonia Berg for not numbering their petitions.

The board came to 2-1 decision to uphold the challenges despite the candidates being given sheets with a numbering space cut off by Koranda.

Two days before being placed on leave, Koranda emailed City Attorney Maureen Riggs with a request for investigation into misconduct by the City Council.

As to the violations Koranda claimed, Atkus stated she has no right to continue to perform her duties as city clerk, and under section 2-3111 of city policy, she \"has no clearly ascertainable right to not have personnel actions taken against her.\"

Atkus disputed the characterization of Schulte's decision to place Koranda on paid leave as \"arbitrary or capricious\" when it was \"to investigate allegations against her and investigate allegations that she made against the City Council.\"

Atkus also argued that claims of damage to reputation and retaliation charges should be dismissed because Koranda has not been terminated.

With regard to Opens Meeting Act violations, Koranda claimed the city erred in appointing Schulte as interim city administrator on Jan. 24 because the appointment was not on the council's agenda that day.

The attorneys for the plaintiffs contend, however, that the council's action was legal and that the council also passed a resolution on Schulte's appointment on Feb. 7 retroactive to Jan. 24.

In Koranda's whistleblowing claim, Atkus did not dispute Koranda's request for investigation as a whistleblowing activity, but he argued there were no facts to suggest she suffered \"a materially adverse act\" or the decision to place her on leave was a result of it.

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Four men are vying to become Rock Island's new mayor, offering different visions for how the city should build its economy, deal with budget issues and chart its future.

Terry Brooks, a former Rock Island alderman; Andy Rowe, a marketing manager; Mike Thoms, a former business executive; and Stephen Tollenaer, who currently represents the 4th Ward on the City Council, all are seeking to replace the current mayor, Dennis Pauley, who decided not to seek re-election.

In interviews and public appearances, the quartet have talked about how to rebound from the failed Walmart and Jumer's Crossing developments, how to re-engage residents and how to make the city more livable. Voters will go the polls on April 4 to choose a winner. Here is a synopsis of some of the views of each of the candidates:

Terry Brooks

Brooks is a longtime fixture in Rock Island politics. He was an alderman for 16 years before being defeated in 2013. However, he said recently he decided to step back into the political ring after seeing a halt to what he said was progress made during the years he and others were on the council.

Brooks, who consults for a Washington, D.C.-area housing developer and coaches summer basketball teams, said he has a long-term vision for the city. He said the city should form a public-private partnership to build a multi-sport complex at the Watchtower Plaza site, where the Walmart store was to go. He said other cities are adding such attractions, and they're paying dividends.

Brooks, 56, said the city could kick in incentives, such as tax increment financing, but that in other places where such projects have been pursued, they have proved to be a draw.

\"We have to have something to draw people's interest,\" he said.

The former alderman also said the city should pursue renewable energy businesses, which he said would create jobs. And he raises the idea of the city creating its own utility to sell renewable power to other municipalities, which he said could ease some of the tax burden.

\"I think that would be a good revenue source,\" he said.

He also said he would convene a panel of business people to give assessments of the city's business climate.

Brooks speaks of his multi-generational commitment to Rock Island and his desire to improve the city.

\"One thing I'm capable of is getting people to listen,\" he said. \"And I do have a passion for Rock Island.\"

Andy Rowe

Rowe, marketing manager for SpeedConnect, an internet service provider, said the city needs to reconnect and re-engage with people who live in Rock Island.

He has been critical of the way the city pursued the Walmart and Jumer's Crossing developments. At a Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce forum earlier this month, he said the city was a \"bully\" on the Jumer's Crossing deal. As for Walmart, he said luring national retailers would be a challenge for the city, and he prefers an \"inside out\" approach.

\"I think from a retail growth standpoint, we've got to grow our in-house retailers,\" he said. \"That's going to be our best bet.\"

Rowe said he would commit the city to more transparency and citizen engagement. One of his ideas, he said, is to improve the city's website.

Rowe, 46, was economic development director for former U.S. Rep. Phil Hare, D-Ill. He said his four priorities would be business growth, financial strength, quality of life and infrastructure.

In a recent interview, he said the city faces financial constraints and infrastructure challenges. He said he doesn't want to raise property taxes but adds, \"If we have to do it, we have to do it.\"

Rowe said he also would work to improve relationships with neighborhood associations and seek to make them more livable. He said the city's downtown is in need of improvement.

\"It's not a destination for people outside of Rock Island to go to,\" he said, pointing to improvements that have been made in Davenport and Moline.

Mike Thoms

Thoms cites his experience, his passion for Rock Island and ability to bring people together in his candidacy.

Thoms, a fourth-generation Rock Islander, is a longtime businessman and former chief of operations of the family company, Thoms-Proestler Co. He also is a past president of Renaissance Rock Island, a nonprofit development organization, and is co-owner of Frye Lake Golf Club near Sherrard.

Thoms, 58,\u00a0said he would dedicate himself full time to the mayor's job, and he would undertake a full-scale effort to understand the needs of Rock Island's businesses in order to improve its economic climate.

Whether it's instituting a facade improvement program, improving streets or changing an ordinance, he said he would seek out ways to help businesses grow.

At the chamber forum, Thoms said he thought the city paid out too much money for the Watchtower Plaza site. The city invested $15 million.

\"It got too costly, and I think they let it drag on too long,\" he said.

As for the future of that site, he said the city should seek out a developer to take on the project.

\"The city should not be the developer,\" he said, only if it were a last resort. He said he would seek input from the community on what should be done with it.

Thoms said he prefers to deal with the city's budget issues by seeking out more collaboration with other municipalities and local governments on providing services. And, as for raising property tax increases, he said he doesn't rule it out, but it would be a \"last resort.\"

Thoms, who received the endorsement of former Mayor Mark Schwiebert, said his involvement in the city as a businessman and leader in organizations such as Renaissance Rock Island gives him a unique vantage point.

\"There's a purpose to my running and wanting Rock Island to improve and make better strides,\" he said.

Stephen Tollenaer

Tollenaer, who was elected to the City Council in 2007, has worked with two mayors and three city managers. He said he has the City Hall experience to be mayor. And he said he would focus intensely on bringing more retail sales tax money into the city.

\"We have to have someone else to help pay the bills,\" he said.

Tollenaer doesn't shrink from criticism over the Walmart deal. He said the city's investment created a better environment in a place that had significantly deteriorated.

\"Not doing anything down there wasn't acceptable, it was so bad down there,\" he said.

Besides, he added, Hill & Valley Premium Bakery, which had been at Watchtower Plaza, has a new site and didn't leave the city.

Finding somebody to go where Walmart wouldn't will be a key goal, he said. At the chamber forum, Tollenaer said the city also must be on guard for a new round of military base closings and be prepared to defend the jobs on the Rock Island Arsenal.

Tollenaer,\u00a058, owns Tollenaer's Friendly Service, an automotive service business. He said Rock Island must develop new revenue sources, and he rejected talk of a property tax increase.

\"I think our property taxes are so elevated and so burdensome,\" he said.

He raised the idea of user fees to pay for things such as infrastructure.

\"We just can't keep putting it on the property owner,\" he said.

At a recent forum at the Quad-City Botanical Center, Tollenaer also said that maintaining a downtown library is \"critical\" but added he would defer to the library board. The board has been studying the future of the city's library system.

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This week, the podcast crew discusses the potential American Health Care Act and how the Iowa delegation is likely to vote. They also discuss the League of Women Voters' forums and how some Republican legislators have not been in attendance.

On Iowa Politics is a weekly news and analysis podcast that re-creates the conversations that happen when Iowa's political reporters get together after the day's deadlines have been met. This week's show features Erin Murphy, Christinia Crippes, Bret Hayworth, Todd Dorman and Ed Tibbetts.

The show was produced by Max Freund, and the music is courtesy of Austin Taft. Find us at qctimes.com, chat with us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @OnIowaPolitics\u00a0and subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher. Know an Iowa musician who should be on our show? Send their band sound files to oniowapolitics@gmail.com.

"}, {"id":"e89b75b0-4c6f-5900-a5e0-5aed0c411b62","type":"article","starttime":"1490378400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-03-24T13:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1490489168","sections":[{"iowa":"news/state-and-regional/iowa"},{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"},{"health-med-fit":"lifestyles/health-med-fit"}],"flags":{"featured":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Medicaid dispute could reduce health care options for low-income Iowans","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/article_e89b75b0-4c6f-5900-a5e0-5aed0c411b62.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/medicaid-dispute-could-reduce-health-care-options-for-low-income/article_e89b75b0-4c6f-5900-a5e0-5aed0c411b62.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/medicaid-dispute-could-reduce-health-care-options-for-low-income/article_e89b75b0-4c6f-5900-a5e0-5aed0c411b62.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Erin Murphy\nTimes Bureau","prologue":"DES MOINES \u2014\u00a0A \u201ccrippling blow,\u201d as one advocate put it, could be dealt to low-income and disabled Iowans who receive services from a public health care program if a payment dispute involving one of Iowa\u2019s largest hospital networks is not resolved. AmeriHealth Caritas is attempting to renegotiate its Medicaid contract with Mercy Health Network, which includes 13 facilities across Iowa.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["mercy health network","iowa","the des moines register","joshua brett","amy mccoy","disabilities resource center of siouxland","don dew","amerihealth caritas","medicaid","janell pittman","economics","company","medicine","commerce","iowan","caritas and mercy health network","contract","provider","dispute"],"internalKeywords":["#free"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"194945c4-c3c8-5f4e-86a7-a2bb77166146","description":"The Mercy Medical Center in Clinton is one of the 13 facilities in the Mercy Health Network that could be affected by a Medicaid payment dispute between the network and AmeriHealth Caritas.","byline":"Kevin E. Schmidt, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1930,"hiresheight":1074,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/94/194945c4-c3c8-5f4e-86a7-a2bb77166146/58d556e80637d.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1930","height":"1074","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/94/194945c4-c3c8-5f4e-86a7-a2bb77166146/58d556e8054b0.image.jpg?resize=1930%2C1074"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/94/194945c4-c3c8-5f4e-86a7-a2bb77166146/58d556e8054b0.image.jpg?resize=100%2C56"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"167","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/94/194945c4-c3c8-5f4e-86a7-a2bb77166146/58d556e8054b0.image.jpg?resize=300%2C167"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"570","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/94/194945c4-c3c8-5f4e-86a7-a2bb77166146/58d556e8054b0.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C570"}}}],"revision":7,"commentID":"e89b75b0-4c6f-5900-a5e0-5aed0c411b62","body":"

DES MOINES \u2014\u00a0A \u201ccrippling blow,\u201d as one advocate put it, could be dealt to low-income and disabled Iowans who receive services from a public health care program if a payment dispute involving one of Iowa\u2019s largest hospital networks is not resolved.

AmeriHealth Caritas is attempting to renegotiate its Medicaid contract with Mercy Health Network, which includes 13 facilities across Iowa.

The Des Moines Register reported this month that AmeriHealth Caritas sent a letter to its clients warning that if the company is unable to negotiate a new contract with Mercy Health Network by July 1, the Mercy Health Network system would no longer be included in AmeriHealth Caritas\u2019 provider network.

The dispute does not immediately affect any Iowans who receive Medicaid services, as members are still able to see their providers while the negotiations continue.

AmeriHealth Caritas is one of the three companies being paid by the state to administer Iowa\u2019s $5 billion Medicaid program. The company says it must renegotiate its rates to create a more sustainable Medicaid program.

The companies have reported operating losses since taking over the Medicaid program in April 2016. AmeriHealth Caritas reported the most anticipated losses at more than $200 million.

\u201cIn order to change its current rates and establish a sustainable Medicaid program, we issued a termination notice to Mercy Health Network,\u201d AmeriHealth Caritas spokesman Joshua Brett said in an email. \"AmeriHealth Caritas Iowa is taking this action now so that there is no impact on our members, as they can continue to see their providers while we work to agree on new contract terms.\"

Brett did not respond to a question about how many AmeriHealth Caritas members receive Medicaid services at Mercy Health Network facilities. Nearly 213,000 Iowans are enrolled in a Medicaid plan through AmeriHealth Caritas, but not all would necessarily receive services at Mercy Health Network facilities.

The Mercy Health Network, which also has contracts with the two other Medicaid management companies that operate in Iowa, includes 13 facilities and more than 2,000 physicians and advanced practice providers in Iowa, according to the company.

AmeriHealth Caritas and Mercy Health Network negotiated a three-year contract less than a year ago, according to Janell Pittman, vice president of marketing and communications for Mercy Health Network. Pittman said that contract helped AmeriHealth Caritas to enroll its 213,000 members.

\u201cNow just a few months after getting this accomplished, they are requesting reduced payment levels. This will significantly disrupt the lives of thousands of Iowans who have counted on this commitment from AmeriHealth Caritas,\u201d Pittman said in an email. \u201c(Mercy Health Network) has performed and continues to perform our duties under the contract. (Mercy) was and is very willing to continue at the payment levels agreed to. (Mercy) is disappointed that AmeriHealth Caritas has chosen to terminate the contract so quickly.\u201d

Both said they continue to negotiate in hopes of finding a resolution.

\u201cBecause of our commitment to our patients we will be working very hard to come to mutually acceptable terms with AmeriHealth Caritas with the hope that participants will continue to receive affordable care from (Mercy\u2019s) award-winning providers in metro and rural communities across the state,\u201d Pittman said.

If an agreement is not reached and those AmeriHealth Caritas members no longer are able to use Mercy Health Network to receive Medicaid services, that would be a \u201ccrippling blow,\u201d said Don Dew, executive director of Disabilities Resource Center of Siouxland. The nonprofit center works with individuals with disabilities.

\u201cIt still is an if, but if that would happen, that would be so damaging to so many people because Mercy and all of its affiliates are so widespread throughout not only our area but throughout the state,\u201d Dew said. \u201cAnd so many people on Medicaid rely on going to Mercy and have services with Mercy.\u201d

The Iowa Department of Human Services is monitoring the situation. Department spokeswoman Amy McCoy said it is not uncommon for insurance plans to renegotiate rates with providers on an annual basis.

\u201cThe MCOs may have negotiated rates above the fee-for-service equivalent as they built their networks, and now \u2014\u00a0a year into managed care \u2014\u00a0may wish to renegotiate those rates under their contracts with providers,\u201d McCoy said in an email. \u201cThe health plans must, at a minimum, offer providers the rate \u2018floor\u2019 that is a fee-for-service equivalent, and maintain adequate network access. Iowa Medicaid is monitoring this process.\u201d

Some members potentially affected by the dispute may be eligible to switch their health plans, McCoy said.

Dew said he worries some members, if affected, may not have sufficient time to react and adjust to any changes in their coverage.

\u201cYou can\u2019t really even imagine how many people who would have consequences that are even, I always hate to say that they\u2019re life-threatening, but they can be,\u201d Dew said. \u201cWhen something like that happens, they find out, and all of a sudden, they don\u2019t have that type of coverage.\u201d

"}, {"id":"dd1577e0-ea97-57cb-9ece-e7865fd8fa45","type":"article","starttime":"1490312280","starttime_iso8601":"2017-03-23T18:38:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1490328005","sections":[{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Scott board clarifies stance on financing for Bettendorf sports complex","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/article_dd1577e0-ea97-57cb-9ece-e7865fd8fa45.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/scott-board-clarifies-stance-on-financing-for-bettendorf-sports-complex/article_dd1577e0-ea97-57cb-9ece-e7865fd8fa45.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/scott-board-clarifies-stance-on-financing-for-bettendorf-sports-complex/article_dd1577e0-ea97-57cb-9ece-e7865fd8fa45.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Teresa LaBella\nnewsroom@qctimes.com","prologue":"After receiving more information from the city of Bettendorf, the Scott County Board of Supervisors has decided it will not oppose financing plans related to a proposed indoor-outdoor sports complex. At their regular meeting Thursday, the supervisors approved the draft of a letter to Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher that clarifies the supervisors' position against using a tax increment financing district to help fund city amenities.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["bettendorf","iowa","scott county","scott county board of supervisors","proposed indoor-outdoor sports complex","diane holst","doug kratz","bob gallagher","tim huey","tif","tax increment financing","finance","economics","complex","plan","baseball field","supervisor","soccer field"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"3531b658-17c5-5f24-ab68-5bf8d25aed4f","description":"Lead investor Doug Kratz unveiled the plans for BettPlex, a 78-acre indoor/outdoor facility and adjacent family entertainment center near the corner of Middle and Forest Grove roads, just south of Interstate 80 in Bettendorf, during a news conference last month at Bettendorf City Hall.","byline":"Kevin E. Schmidt, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1831,"hiresheight":1132,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/53/3531b658-17c5-5f24-ab68-5bf8d25aed4f/58a774123b7d1.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1831","height":"1132","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/53/3531b658-17c5-5f24-ab68-5bf8d25aed4f/58a774123a859.image.jpg?resize=1831%2C1132"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"62","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/53/3531b658-17c5-5f24-ab68-5bf8d25aed4f/58a774123a859.image.jpg?resize=100%2C62"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"185","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/53/3531b658-17c5-5f24-ab68-5bf8d25aed4f/58a774123a859.image.jpg?resize=300%2C185"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"633","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/53/3531b658-17c5-5f24-ab68-5bf8d25aed4f/58a774123a859.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C633"}}}],"revision":9,"commentID":"dd1577e0-ea97-57cb-9ece-e7865fd8fa45","body":"

After receiving more information from the city of Bettendorf, the Scott County Board of Supervisors has decided it will not oppose financing plans related to a proposed indoor-outdoor sports complex.

At their regular meeting Thursday, the supervisors approved the draft of a letter to Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher that clarifies the supervisors' position against using a tax increment financing district to help fund city amenities.

The decision came after the county received assurances from the city that $12 million planned for recreational area development at the proposed Interstate 80 and Middle Road sports complex would not be funded by TIF.

County Engineer Tim Huey confirmed a $3.1 million line item in the plan that was questioned by Supervisor Diane Holst would utilize TIF funds for sewer and road construction.

In their letter, the supervisors reiterate that facilities such as parks should be funded through municipal resources, not a TIF district, and said they would oppose using TIF in that case.

\"It is the Board's understanding from the additional information submitted by City staff that the use of TIF dollars is not contemplated for these public parks and recreation improvements,\" the letter states. \"That information indicated that the City may utilize urban renewal powers to bond for the estimated $12,000,000 in improvements for park development.\"

Bettendorf and lead investor Doug Kratz announced plans for the 78-acre BettPlex development a month ago. The $45 million proposal includes private and public investment.

The sports complex and adjacent hotel and retail development will include a turf soccer field, basketball and volleyball courts, batting cages and baseball fields among other amenities.

In other business, Holst was the only supervisor to vote against a resolution approving the purchase and installation of a bi-directional amplifier at the county Sheriff patrol headquarters.

\u201cI would have preferred to see other bids,\u201d Holst said.

County staff recommended approval of the lone bid of $13,619.90 from Racom to allow for system integration and consistent signal reception as construction nears completion at the new facility.

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