Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Thanks to all who attended tonight's Open/City Meeting in the 3rd Ward at the Friendly House. We had good levels participation from a number of folks. Thanks to city staff Tom Warner (legal), Cindy Webb (admin. support), Craig Malin (administrator), Chief Bladel and DPD. Also, thanks to Ald. Meyer and Ald. Hammerlinck for their assistance.

Notes/comments from the meeting: click here - sorry for the delay.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Reminder - Frink/City Meeting Tuesday at 6:30 pm

I wanted to post a quick reminder for the Open/City Meeting I will be hosting at 6:30 pm, Tuesday, at the Friendly House (1221 Myrtle). The meeting will be open to citizens from throughout the community and will center on current issues or any other topics citizens wish to discuss. I will be joined by representatives from the DPD and City Legal, as well as a couple other aldermen. If you have a particular request for an "agenda item" feel free to let me know and I'll be sure it is covered.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

At Large Issue

I first learned of a petition drive to eliminate the at-large positions, from the city council yesterday, during a phone conversation with the QC Times. I will never stand in the way of a group of citizens that is seeking to place an issue on the ballot and if the required number of signatures are obtained, then it should be left for the voters to decide if they choose to have eight ward aldermen and two at-large or strictly the ward representatives.

That said, at the end of the day what really matters is that the council strives to work together to build a better Davenport.

At a time when our council needs to focus on increased home ownership in the central city, joint tenant-landlord accountability, a reduction in crime, improved commercial corridors, more business in our industrial parks, a more vibrant and business friendly downtown, higher levels of city service, more efficient and effective government, and attraction/retention of a workforce; we are facing another distraction. We are not forming bonds across the city, but taking another step toward division.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Survey Results

In July, Citizens for Smart Governance, mailed a survey to 6000 Davenport households. The committee received 1200 responses to five questions, concerning various issues related to the city. The results are, by no means a scientific sample, but are interesting nonetheless. I thought I would share with you all; feel free to comment as well. (For the sake of brevity - I have summarized the questions a bit)

1. Do the city's speed cameras help make our streets safer and we should add more, or do you believe the cameras infringe on our rights and should be removed?

49%, remove cameras
35%, add additional cameras
12.5%, no opinion
3.5%, keep, but do not add more

2. Support or oppose 4-yr. terms?

54%, oppose 4-yr. term
41%, support 4-yr. term
5%, undecided

3. Automated garbage collection?

48%, right decision
29%, wrong decision
23%, undecided

4. Recently city taxes were raised $.50 per $1000 of assessed value for a new police station. Now, some have suggested using local option sales tax (presently used for street construction and property tax relief) to hire more police officers instead. Would you support shifting tax dollars away from streets and property taxes to public safety?

66%, keep dollars devoted to streets/tax relief
22%, support moving to public safety
12%, undecided

5. The council has discussed some new ideas on property tax relief. One idea is to freeze the city portions of property tax levels for homeowners who make less than $25k per year. Do you support/oppose this concept of freezing these dollars and making up the difference someplace else in the budget?

54%, support freeze
32%, oppose freeze
14%, undecided

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Open City Meeting, Aug. 29th, Friendly House

I will be hosting an Open/City Meeting at 6:30 pm, Tues. Aug. 29th, at The Friendly House in the 3rd Ward. The meeting will be open to citizens from throughout the community and will center on current city topics and any ideas or suggestions individuals might want to share. I will be joined by a representative from the DPD and City Legal, as well as a couple other aldermen.

The Friendly House is located at 1221 Myrtle St., one block East of Marquette - just North of 12th. This will be the fifth meeting I have hosted, or co-hosted this year, I hope to make it to each ward before year-end (so far/the 1st, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 8th). Questions: 508-2842 or ian@ianfrink.com.

Click here for more information.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

City Administrator's Contract Issue

Legally I do not believe Mr. Malin has done anything wrong. This whole issue relates to the interpretation of contract language. With city administrator contracts, it is important to note, the difference between merit based increases to base salary and cost of living adjustments (COLA).

COLA is not specifically addressed in this contract. Therefore, often times, it is considered a Benefit in contracts of this nature and is routinely implemented, just as other benefits are implemented (dental, health care, etc.). Merit based increases are to come before the council, rightfully so, on a regular basis in conjunction with performance reviews.

In his contract, Benefits are clearly articulated: he is entitled to these and authorized to give these Benefits, just as he would to department heads. This is what he has done in this situation. This is, historically, what has happened in the City of Davenport.

Differing opinions are viewed as contract language disputes and will need to be resolved through available remedies.

As an elected official, I am charged with the responsibility of doing what is in the best interests of our city. A vote for "breach of contract", in my opinion, is not in our overall best interests given the circumstances that have been laid out before us.

That said: this issue could have been addressed easily and professionally. Some
of the council members knowingly and purposefully disgraced a public
servant in a blatant power move.

It is my hope that the council will operate in a less dysfunctional manner in the future.