The following commentary is in response to an article published by The Ledger on our election.
In this election, voters need to decide between going back to the Rust days — when sidewalks were left to crumble, ball fields never got played, an iconic water tower was allowed to rust, and parks were left to become overgrown litter beds – or voting for the progress represented by Darlene Bradley and Barbara Pierson.
What Abel Gonzalez represents is a return back to a time when the city manager was not held to account and the mayor’s position was ceremonial (think kissing babies and not much more). If the city manager had been doing her job over the past decade or so and/or was held to account for doing her job, the City of Davenport, I believe, would never have fallen into its dire state of neglect.
Darlene Bradley bridged a gap and forged partnerships when none of the other commissioners, not even Crystal Williams, supported her. That is the “dismissive attitude” that Davenport voters need to rise up against this election.
I can tell you that attitude exists. I’ve seen it and I’ve been working against it for progress.
For example, in my effort over the past two years to get a restroom for a park in an indigent area of town, I have witnessed what I would call a tinge of racism (or is it the lackadaisical style of an old-style bureaucrat?) to get this restroom project done. This area’s been asking for a restroom for decades and getting it done seemed like a no-brainer, but apparently not to the city manager. The upshot was that last week this area had to rise up to get the commissioners’ attention because Davenport’s city manager wanted – after decades of postponements – to postpone the project again.
It’s the commissioners’ job to ensure that the city manager is doing her job. It is admirable, to say the least, to see that someone on this board, i.e., Darlene Bradley, would fill in when it’s been clear that Amy Arrington cannot handle her job. Now it’s time for commissioners to hold Arrington to account. VOTERS: That will only happen if we keep Darlene and add Barbara Pierson to the mix. You can count on both of them to be fierce advocates for the people of Davenport.
An edited version of this post was published in The Ledger on March 30, 2017.