Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba has used a veto to halt the construction of an SAU stadium and sports complex.
Wednesday, Gluba struck down the City Council’s decision to rezone the St. Vincent Center property where St. Ambrose University hopes to build a 2,500-seat stadium and sports complex. Gluba used a veto, saying that he needed to give preference to maintaining “stability” and “vitality” in Davenport’s core neighborhoods.
This is the first veto he has used in his seven years as mayor.
“St. Ambrose can build a stadium elsewhere, in a non-residential area. I support neighbors and neighborhoods, and when neighbors and neighborhoods come up against major corporations and institutions, I think, as mayor, I have to look out for the neighbors,” said Gluba.
Gluba said that although he also lives in the neighborhood surrounding West Central Park Avenue, that fact did not impact his decision to veto the request.
“Not at all, not at all. Quite frankly, one of my intents, and my wife agrees, is to give our house to St. Ambrose eventually,” said Gluba.
Last week, aldermen voted 6 to 4 in favor of St. Ambrose. In order to override a veto, they will now need a super majority of seven ‘yes’ votes. Third Ward Alderman Bill Boom said he believes the Council has the votes to override.
“He’s made his statement, and I feel pretty confident that the council will turn around next week and vote both of these projects back in,” said Boom.
Many neighbors of the proposed project, who’ve fought the rezoning request for months, left Wednesday’s meeting though with a sense of relief.
“We’re thrilled,” said Betzy McLeland. “We feel like the mayor really listened to the volumes of individuals that spoke at City Council, and we’re happy.”
Meanwhile, St. Ambrose representatives said they’re disappointed with the decision.
“We spent four years studying and developing our complex plan. We meet and exceed, in many cases, the ordinances set up by the City. We’ve gotten approval throughout the process,” said Mike Poster, vice president of finance for SAU.
The City Council has scheduled a special meeting for next Wednesday, July 23, 2014, at 5 p.m.
Aldermen plan to make a motion to override the mayor’s veto at that meeting.