Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Proposed Council Mtg. Re-structuring

I have received a few questions on the proposed council meeting re-structuring on this cycle's agenda. I genuinely believe the new proposed format will allow for more effective and efficient processes for citizens, our council, and staff. I realize change is always difficult. I have outlined my position in a one-page summary, to read click here. To view the detailed six-page overview, click here and go to pgs. 8-14 of the PDF. I truly believe this new direction will free up some time for staff and the council to work on more long-term initiatives for the city, 57% of respondents to my January survey (on this blog) agreed. At COW, citizens will be able to have dialogue with aldermen on agenda items (which will all be "discussion" not "consent" items) and will have an opportunity to comment in the Open Comment section of the agenda. At CC, the meeting will function in the same format as present. Please let me know of any questions and I'll do my best to address them here. Thanks, Ian

*** Added 3/1: Related link (Sample COW Agenda, proposed version) - click here


Davenport's Sean Moeller has been putting the QC's on the map with his recording studio that attracts bands from across the country. If you are interested in discovering bands that you may not, otherwise, be exposed to check out his site, click here. The site features reviews, music downloads, and illustrations of the artists.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Preserve America Community

Davenport is a Preserve America Community. I went on-line to read the city overview and learn more about this program. Davenport is one of seven Iowa cities to receive this designation, others include: Dubuque, Fort Madison, Mason City, Oskaloosa, Sioux City, and Waterloo. Rock Island is the only other city in the QCA and is one of two in Illinois. Davenport has the most Iowa Historic properties in the state. All the more reason to preserve and protect our historic neighborhoods.

The program overview follows:

This program recognizes and designates communities that protect and celebrate their heritage, use their historic assets for economic development and community revitalization, and encourage people to experience and appreciate local historic resources through education and heritage tourism programs. In July 2005, Mrs. Bush announced that applications for designation would also be accepted from historic neighborhoods in cities larger than 200,000. Since the program began, Mrs. Bush has designated 427 communities (including seven neighborhoods) as Preserve America Communities.

Benefits of designation include White House recognition; eligibility to apply for Preserve America grants; a certificate of recognition; a Preserve America Community road sign; authorization to use the Preserve America logo on signs, flags, banners, and promotional materials; listing in a Web-based Preserve America Community directory; inclusion in national and regional press releases; official notification of designation to State tourism offices and visitor bureaus; and enhanced community visibility and pride.

The Davenport Overview follows:

Davenport (population 98,359) was founded shortly after an 1832 treaty with the Black Hawk Indians opened the Iowa bank of the Mississippi River to American settlement. The home of the city's founder, Antoine LeClaire, is owned by the city and is undergoing restoration.
Most of Davenport's early settlers were native-born Americans, but many Germans also immigrated to the area. Their story is told at the German American Heritage Center, which is housed in the rehabilitated Germania Haus/Miller Hotel (1868). The community's strategic location made it an important center for retail and wholesale commercial trade. Today, Davenport serves as the premier city of the Iowa-Illinois Quad Cities.

Davenport has the largest number of Iowa historic properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Approximately 1,600 properties are listed, either individually or as part of 14 historic districts.

Historic places are playing an important role in the city's efforts to revitalize its downtown and riverfront through its River Renaissance redevelopment initiative. A major project was rehabilitation of the historic Redstone Building (formerly a department store) to house the River Music Experience. This museum celebrates the music and music heritage of the Mississippi River through exhibits, performances, and educational programs.

Nearby, the city has also renovated its historic riverfront baseball stadium, the John O'Donnell Stadium (1931), in time for opening day 2004. The importance of the stadium project to the city's economic vitality and livability was referenced by Davenport's mayor in his proclamation of National Historic Preservation Week the following week.

To learn more, click here.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Brady, Harrison Meeting Tuesday at 7 pm

The City's Design Center will host a public meeting at 7 pm Tuesday, regarding study of the Brady/Harrison corridor. The Design Center is located at 102 East Second at the corner of East Second and Brady. This corridor is, obviously, a key for our city. A number of strong anchors presently exists: our riverfront, downtown, SAU, Palmer, City Schools, Vanderveer Park, Northpark, I-80, and some strong residential neighborhoods. The key will be filling the voids that exist along this stretch. In my January survey, on this blog, this corridor ranked first for importance, with regard to revitalization (57%). To read the press release/invitation: click here. If you are unable to attend and wish to share comments, feel free to post on this blog or email me at ian@ianfrink.com and I'll be happy to share the comments with the study group.