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Mayoral candidates weigh in on Davenport’s biggest issues

Posted on: 10:25 pm, November 3, 2013, by , updated on: 08:35am, November 4, 2013

Davenport residents will soon be heading to the polls to elect their mayor.

On Tuesday, November 5, 2013 Davenport’s current Mayor Bill Gluba will be challenged by former Alderman Keith Meyer and former mayor and write-in candidate Phil Yerington.

The Sunday before the municipal election, News 8 sat down with Mayor Bill Gluba and candidate Phil Yerington.

The first topic discussed was jobs.

Yerington stated that jobs are important, but its not just the sheer number of jobs created that counts.

“It’s not just about bringing jobs in, it’s about bringing people in who are going to do a high quality job and make a living wage,” said Yerington.

On the other side, Mayor Gluba returned from a trip to Washington D.C. where he met with business developers from China.

“There were about a half a dozen prospects for us, and one we hope to get to Davenport in November and get them to invest in the Quad Cities and Davenport,” said Gluba.

Mayor Gluba stated that the majority of the developers he met with were representing multimillion-dollar companies that would pay competitive wages.

If Yerington is elected, he wants to see an increase in trade jobs, specifically at an industrial park off Interstate 80.

“We can certainly pump up our industrial park which started under my term back in the 90s,” said Yerington.

Mayor Gluba agreed the industrial park is a vital element to Davenport.

“We have got a number of businesses and developments out on Interstate 80 in our industrial park, so we are doing all we possibly can,” said Gluba.

The next issue disputed was the way the new land-based casino was handled.

Yerington said that Mayor Gluba did a terrible job when handling the casino development.

“It’s not the mayors job to cut last minute deals behind ‘closed doors,’” Yerington said.

He also questions where the money from the gaming industry is going.

“It was supposed to go to our schools and they are doing poorly,” he continued, “I would like a report on where the money is going.”

Meanwhile, Mayor Gluba focused on how he will ensure the people of Davenport will benefit from the gaming revenues.

“The casino operator will make millions, I just want to make sure the people of Davenport are going to get a fair share of the money,” said Gluba.

Among their differences, both candidates can agree that they want to see a high turnout at the polls.

In the last mayoral election, their were 73,420 registered voters and only 1,917 people voted.  That is a 2.61% voter turnout, which is considered substantially low.

News 8 was unable to get in contact with the third candidate Keith Meyer.