Former Davenport City Council colleagues describe Bill Edmond as an “honest, straightforward conservative” who took pride in speaking his mind.
The former 2nd Ward alderman died Tuesday at Select Specialty Hospital, Davenport. He was 67 years old.
“Bill served his country in the Army during Vietnam, and served this city as an alderman for a long time,” Alderman Ray Ambrose, 4th Ward, said Wednesday.
“He was very involved in getting Veterans Memorial Park set up,” Ambrose said. “His strong fiscal conservative ideas are one of the reasons why this city is in such great financial position today. It’s been an honor to serve with Bill Edmond. He worked hard for the City of Davenport and we appreciate it.”
Former Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba said that while he and Edmond were political opposites, they also were the best of friends who talked often.
“He was a very honest, straightforward, principled conservative,” Gluba said. “He was instrumental in the building of the off-leash dog park at the foot of Marquette Street at Centennial Park."
There's a stone at the dog park that Edmond had put there in dedication to the K-9 units that served in Vietnam, Gluba added. He would like to see Edmond's name placed on that stone as a memorial.
"He was a sergeant in Vietnam and was out in the rice paddies," said Edmond's wife, Pam. "He just loved dogs and wanted to honor them. They were such wonderful tools for our soldiers."
Gluba said that despite being Edmond’s political opposite, “We hit it off. I really respected the guy and we were close friends. The city is non-partisan so there was no reason to play politics when we were in office, so we didn’t. He worked hard for his constituents and he worked hard for the city of Davenport.
“I’m going to miss him,” Gluba said.
Edmond served as 2nd Ward alderman for six years. He was first elected the City Council in a special election in March 2009 to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Shawn Hamerlinck, who went to the Iowa Senate. Edmond then won the November election.
Edmond ran unopposed in 2011 and 2013, but was defeated in November 2015 by Maria Dickmann.
“He was a very competent alderman,” said Alderman Jason Gordon, at large.
“He did his homework his due diligence on the issues. He was obviously upfront and blunt on some issues and we didn’t always agree on the issues, but he became my friend. We talked about our families and things we liked and wanted to see for the city.
“One of the things I appreciated about Bill, on almost every single issue, I knew where Bill was going to be because he’d tell me and then he’d follow through,” Gordon said. “When Bill told you where he stood, you knew that’s where he stood."
Pam Edmond said that her husband was fiscally responsible and he liked to be very careful with what he did with the taxpayer's money.
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But he did have his projects on which he spent the allocation of beautification money in his ward, she added.
At the parks in his ward, she said, "he always contributed to the upkeep of their ball fields and use his beautification money for that. He'd make sure the grounds were sprayed and well-cared for."
"Bill was a heck of a guy," said Alderman Bill Boom, 3rd Ward. "Politically we were on opposite ends of the spectrum, but he was clear and it was easy to understand where he was coming from, and where he was coming from was the heart.
"He gave his all for the community and that's all you can ask of a person, and his loss will be felt," Boom said. "I was proud to call him my friend."
"He loved his constituents," Pam Edmond said. "If they called and wanted him to come out and look at a problem he was there in 20 minutes.
"He was very action-oriented and very down to earth," Pam Edmond said. "That's why I loved him."
Funeral arrangements for Edmond are pending at Weerts Funeral Home, Davenport.