City Council Appoints Casino Board of Directors

There are still a lot of questions concerning the city and a casino.

On Wednesday, November 28th, 2012, Davenport City Council voted to approve the members of the Davenport Community Improvement Corporation (DCIC), which is the non-profit community group created to manage the new casino, if and when the city buys the Rhythm City Casino.

The DCIC includes City Administrator Craig Malin, Police Chief Frank Donchez, Alderman and Finance Committee Chair Jeff Justin, and four community members – Riverboat Development Authority (RDA) President Mary Ellen Chamberlin, RDA Board Member and Attorney Christine Frederick, Attorney and Local Business Owner Kelli Grubbs, as well as Executive Director of Tri-City Building Trades Rory Washburn.

All seven members were appointed tonight, but not without some opposition first. Alderman Mike Matson was the lone vote against the DCIC appointments.  Three include representatives from the city on a board that is city-established, but is questioned if it should be city-based.

“That’s my only concern, not the qualifications of the people because they’re excellent,” says Alderman Mason. “It’s the understanding of separation… either we’re going to separate or we’re not going to separate and if we’re having staff members – three of them – on a board out of seven, we’re not separating.”

Mayor Bill Gluba says in the beginning, there needs to be some city involvement and he’s happy with the group the city has chosen.

“I think this is a pretty good selection and potentially a very effective board to both look out for the public interest and look out for the interest of our city of Davenport,” says Mayor Gluba.

Frederick, one of the newly-appointed board members, tells WQAD that she is looking forward to being part of the DCIC and will take the position very seriously.

“I just want to make sure we have dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s, that everything is done, that everything is legal so that we don’t have any problems in the future and that everything is done so that we have done the best we can for the city,” says Frederick.

The RDA also met today before City Council to discuss the casino, but no action was made. Members decided they needed to read all the materials presented so far, come up with questions for the city, and then meet in mid-December to hear their answers.

Around that same time, December 20th, proposals from interested developers are due.

The city is hoping to present their plan to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) during the IRGC’s January 2013 meeting, with hopes of hearing a decision by the IRGC at its March 2013 meeting.

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