As a St. Ambrose alumnus and Gaines Street neighbor just three houses south of Central Park Avenue, Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba shares a unique perspective on the university.
Clearly his politics and social conscience were informed by the university where he earned a political science degree in the early 1960s.
Gluba wouldn’t be Gluba without St. Ambrose.
And we’d posture that St. Ambrose would not be the university it is without Gluba.
So we’re stumped by the mayor’s veto of his university’s stadium plan.
Gluba used his first veto in seven years to stop the stadium, inexplicably claiming to be stopping corporate intrusion. “I believe as mayor I must put neighborhoods ahead of private corporations and that's what I'm doing tonight by vetoing this rezoning proposal."
St. Ambrose is not corporate-backed lobbying firm, Hobby Lobby or the other entities granted a form of citizenship by recent Supreme Court decisions.
St. Ambrose is a neighbor, whose presence – along with Assumption High School and the Diocese of Davenport -- created, nurtured and protected Gluba’s neighborhood. We’ve not forgotten Ambrose activists’ role in the 1970s stopping the mid-city expressway that would have cut Davenport in half from Centennial Bridge, through St. Vincent’s property to Interstate 80.
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We empathize with neighbors’ resistance to change, but remain confident that change is coming to the St. Vincent’s property one way or another. St. Ambrose’s plan for change seems carefully thought out to impose less of an intrusion than the other six high school and college stadiums coexisting nicely with Q-C residential neighborhoods.
Ambrose is committed to growth, that’s for sure. If successful, Gluba’s defense of his own neighborhood assures the school will be looking to grow next to someone else’s neighborhood.
With this veto, Gluba has created a problem for his city, his alma mater, Assumption High School and other neighborhoods adjacent to this growing university.
That’s not the kind of leadership we’ve experienced and expected from the mayor.