Davenport Mayor Mike Matson swore in the city's newest alderman, roughly two weeks after voters headed to the polls.
Newly-elected Alderman Derek Cornette took the oath of office at Davenport City Council's Committee of the Whole meeting Wednesday.
Cornette defeated Alexandra Dermody in the race for Davenport's 7th Ward to replace Alderman Joseph Miller, who was appointed temporarily to the seat following the April resignation of former Alderman Patrick Peacock.
Miller was appointed until a new alderman could be elected in the Nov. 2 city election. Miller did not seek election to the post.
"Obviously, I’m pleased with the outcome," Cornette said the morning after the Nov. 2 city election. "Now, the hard part begins, getting down to work to try to make Davenport a better place to live."
Cornette, who recently underwent a medical procedure and was using a walker, declined a request for an interview following Wednesday's council meeting, citing discomfort.
Speaking to the paper Nov. 3, Cornette said he was getting up to speed on the city's upcoming budgeting process and "pushing hard for public safety and protection of property" were his top priorities.
Cornette campaigned to tighten the city of Davenport's purse strings and shift focus from riverfront development to public safety, including hiring more police officers.
"I’d like to see, you know, make sure the police budget stays the same or better than it was, and the firemen, too," he said. "What I’d like to do is see what funds from the American Rescue Plan — what things they can be used for — and maybe reprogram money earmarked in the budget that rescue funds can cover and free up some more funds that way" for public safety.
Other newly-elected and re-elected aldermen, as well as Matson, will be sworn into their new terms when they begin in January.
In other business
Davenport aldermen held a public hearing on an ordinance amending the city's ward and precinct boundaries.
Every 10 years in the year after the US Census is taken, the city must adjust its precinct and ward boundaries based upon population shifts and changes in the state legislative district boundaries.
The boundaries were redrawn to move the least amount of voters and maintain compact wards, while adhering to nonpartisan criteria set out in state law, including ensuring boundaries are contiguous.
The current addresses of sitting aldermen and aldermen-elect are not allowed to be considered in setting the boundaries. If displaced, aldermen will represent the ward they were elected to represent on Nov. 2, regardless of their residency. For subsequent elections, they must either change residency or seek election to the new ward in which they reside.
Overall, there was little change in the boundaries.
Aldermen will vote at their next regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday to approve the new maps. Aldermen typically hold their regular meetings on Wednesdays. The meeting was moved due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
For election purposes, the new boundaries will apply to the first election following approval by the Iowa Secretary of State's office, per city staff.