It appears that our local news outlet, The Ledger needs a lesson in local Davenport history to more fairly round out their editorial, Davenport’s quick change in leadership, an opinion-based piece based on an “alternative fact” from the very first sentence. In calling Barbara Pierson, Davenport’s newly elected commissioner, a “rookie,” The Ledger dismissed the solid work experience of this more than capable individual.
It also dismissed the history that led up to these terminations. For example, while it is true that both former city manager Amy Arrington and former city attorney Kirk Warren received good marks on their last evaluations, those took place a year ago in May 2016. Apparently unbeknownst to The Ledger, things happened in Davenport during the course of this past year.
The Charter Review Committee was one of those things, a committee I was on and wherein I witnessed Warren vociferously representing the interests of city staff over the people’s duly elected commissioners. In a right-to-work state, Warren spoke of protecting senior staff “job security,” when having to lose the faith of not one (like most employees), not two, but three commissioners wasn’t security enough. Then came the election, wherein the people voted against what was Warren’s recommendation on this same issue.
As for what Arrington did (or did not do) over the past year to earn her termination? From leaving sidewalks to become so dilapidated that it was a serious personal injury liability (one Warren never bothered to mention), to keeping staff that disrespected constituents, to discouraging volunteerism, to not doing a damn thing to ensure that Davenport didn’t lose its water tower … please, Ledger, don’t even get me started.
Pierson may very well be the most experienced commissioner to grace City Hall in all of Davenport’s history. What Barbara Pierson and Darlene Bradley did was brave and was good for Davenport’s future quality of life. On the other hand, it was highly inappropriate for The Ledger to have written such a malicious editorial when all that is happening here is progress.