Why are you running for Davenport City Council?
I am passionate about local government and have five years of experience as an Alderman that will allow me to make an immediate positive impact for the residents of the 6th ward. I really enjoy public service and want to help keep Davenport moving in the right direction.
How does your work, public service or volunteer experience translate to serving on the Davenport City Council?
I am the only 6th ward candidate that has direct experience serving on a Quad-Cities city council. It was my privilege to serve as Moline’s 7th Ward Alderman for five years, where I compiled a track record of productivity and gained valuable experience. Additionally, I served five years as a commissioner on the Bi-State Regional Commission and for a period on the Moline Park Board.
Professionally, I have held leadership roles in information technology for the last 16 years. I have experience in healthcare, banking and consulting, as well as Internet startups. My professional career in the Quad-Cities started in 2008 after relocating from Chicago. From 2008 to 2012 I was Vice President of IT at American Bank & Trust. In 2012, I transitioned to UnityPoint Health, where I am currently employed as the Regional IT Manager for the Quad Cities and Muscatine.
I believe that I am the best-prepared candidate and the only candidate that can come in and immediately perform at a high level. With Davenport’s 2-year terms, that is a distinct benefit to the residents of the 6th Ward.
I am well-versed in the nuance of economic development, including TIF and other forms of incentives. I am looking forward to the opportunity to help Davenport see continued business and population growth. I want to provide transparent government and world-class city services and amenities. I accept the challenge of helping to find creative additional funding sources that will lighten the tax burden for all Davenport residents.
In your estimation, what are the strengths of the city of Davenport?
Davenport offers its residents some very nice amenities, with the riverfront being the crown jewel. There is enormous potential for the redevelopment of the old casino site.
The city is building momentum with regards to economic development. With the Eastern Iowa Industrial site continuing to fill in, most recently with the 7G announcement, the city needs to lay the seeds for future expansion over the coming years. I support the current efforts that are underway to seek out and determine future development sites.
Generally speaking, I favor small business loan funds and would support efforts in those regards at the city level, as well as supporting the continuation of the Bi-State Revolving Loan Fund.
What are the areas the city of Davenport can improve on?
As I walk the ward and talk to my fellow residents, one of the main concerns I hear is the increase in crime, including gunshot incidents, burglaries, and vandalism. The recent hiring of additional police officers is a step in the right direction. I am also interested to see the results of the public safety evaluation that is currently underway.
I also see opportunity for additional revenue generation without increasing taxes or user fees. For example, during my tenure on the Moline City Council we implemented a sanitation cart lid advertising program. This program was to bring in an estimated $80,000 per year in revenue or around $400,000 for the length of the five-year contract. There are real tangible benefits to electing an experienced alderman.
The news of a Costco Wholesale location coming to the 6th Ward was met with both excitement and concern. As a resident of the 6th Ward and potential representative of its constituents, how would you assess the city of Davenport’s response to the concerns and do you agree with the decision to rezone the property? If no, how would you have handled it differently?
I am excited that Costco will be coming to Davenport. There are many positives that will come along with that development: we can expect almost 200 well-paying new jobs, along with the convenience of having local access to Costco’s wide array of products. I was also very happy to see that no TIF or other incentives were needed to secure the deal.
That being said, those that are concerned with traffic on 53rd street have valid concerns. I support the additional turn lane proposal and would also support looking at other ideas to ease traffic on 53rd.
On the whole, I think Costco will be a great addition to the community.
The 6th Ward has not had regularly scheduled ward meetings for some time. Will you look to reintroduce regular meetings? If not, what are the methods you intend to use to engage residents of the 6th Ward with?
I would absolutely reinstate ward meetings. I believe face-to-face is the most productive way for local public officials to interact with their constituents. Transparency and availability are hallmarks of good government.
Of course all traditional communication methods will still be available. Additionally social media like Facebook and Nextdoor offer potential for efficient and prompt engagement.