- Party affiliation of candidates below
- Reliance on pre-existing zoning an important issue
- Polls open until 8:00, regular precinct location
There is only one primary race in all of Scott County for municipal elections seats. It is in Davenport’s 6th Ward. There are multiple municipalities and subdivisions in the county. That only one has a primary is unfortunate as the rest do not necessarily receive great representation.
Most municipal elections locally are officially “non-partisan” and in many cases the preliminary primary race goes to the top two vote-getters (if the election is for a single seat and not a vote for 2 or 3). The primary winners face off in November. As it appears now, too many races will be uncontested.
True, it takes an acute matter to raise interest in such elections but often the horse is out of the barn so to speak when such matters come to he fore and the election issue becomes throw the bums out rather than anticipate, pledge, evaluate and confirm. This is not to say that we believe every seat / official should be primaried but that the overall dearth of interest is troubling. Municipal government in general is not that good.
One issue that every municipal candidate should be evaluated on is their views on zoning and the character of the ward(s). Some may properly advocate for change or flexibility of sorts but most voters move to and stay in a neighborhood due to the current acceptability of the character of the area regulated by known rules and restrictions governing usage, assuming due diligence or reliable disclosures of their real-estate agent. If they wanted to have their existing quietude altered by development not anticipated by existing zoning, well that may impact their residency choice.
Davenports 6th Ward had areas that had restrictive zoning that helped protect some of the residential character of the ward from intense large-scale commercial development. That had to change in order to allow for a Costco to come to a particular acreage the corporation wanted. The question became for all alderman actually, “would you want to live across the street from a turn lane or have your apartment abode overlook a Costco parking lot and the additional traffic it will bring, inadequately ameliorated by other available avenues / traffic patterns? Or, would you prefer a less intense usage than that aggravated by a Costco?”
The comparative quietude of a mixed agricultural use acreage has now been eliminated to give Costco what it wants.
A related general question for municipal (and county) candidates is — can residents have an effective reliance on existing zoning character or is such to be changeable according to the first offer from a commercial interest? Costco should have been denied the zoning variance necessary to locate in that particular plotting. Other nearby options are more appropriate as residences in the affected, soon to be afflicted area were there first.
So in spite of that horse now being out of the barn, the Davenport 6th Ward primary should nevertheless have the general question as a key mater. Some of the candidates seem to understand that and were astute enough to address the issue in their press interview with the QC Times, assuming the QC Times got it straight or was thorough. Because reliance on the QC Times is often a factor, we encourage voters in the ward to verify the candidates views by calling the candidates .
Davenport Sixth Ward Primary
There is no incumbent running as the person appointed to fill a vacancy created by resignation is not running either. The appointed alderman voted to further the Costco location.
Party registration is certainly something to be aware of when voting even in so called nonpartisan elections as the philosophy behind party choice can be telling (although not assured). Because the Scott County Republican Party continues to neglect a program of identifying, interviewing and endorsing candidates in the municipal primaries and general, we try to offer at least the party identification.
Richard A. Clewell is a perennial candidate for something or other and is a registered Democrat. That he served on the Davenport School Board for a long time and given the conditions there, well that is telling as well.
Dale Gilmour is a registered Republican and seems to have voiced dissatisfaction with the Costco processes by the city. See QC Times interview.
Ben Jobgen is registered no party. He criticized the Costco decision. See QC Times interview.
Sean Liddell is registered no party.
Chris Webster is a registered Republican
Clewell, Liddelland Webster did not have a clear position on the specifics or implications of the Costco affair at least as spelled out by the QC Times. To be sure Davenport Sixth Ward residents should call them prior to voting today. Voting will probably be sparse so each vote is particularly important.
The ballot is a “vote for one” to determine the top two for the municipal general election. We will be voting for Gilmour on the hope he has a true Republican heart.