After Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba struck down St. Ambrose University's proposal for a stadium and sports complex, City Council members decided they would hold off on a vote to either maintain or overturn the veto.
"The City Council has been working on this now for a number of weeks, actually a number of months, and we wanna make sure everything is in concert with St. Ambrose and the neighbors. We just felt, at this time, that perhaps we needed to step back a little bit and take another look at this and make sure that everybody is in concert," said Alderman at Large Gene Meeker.
A special meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, July 23, 2014, because of Gluba’s veto of the rezoning request for a 2,500-seat stadium and sports complex just north of campus. Click here for details on the SAU stadium plans.
On Wednesday, July 16, Gluba struck down the City Council’s decision to rezone the St. Vincent Center property, located near the corner of West Central Park Avenue and Marquette Street. He said he used the veto because he had to give preference to maintaining “stability” and “vitality” in Davenport neighborhoods.
“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.
Neighbors who opposed the stadium cited potential problems with water runoff, traffic and property values. SAU leaders, on the other hand, say the school's lack of a stadium is stunting their growth as a university and that it would help them stay competitive.
"There's been a lot of ups and downs in this whole process throughout the eight months, and especially for the past six weeks; it's just part of the process. We look forward to working with the City Council in the next few weeks in gaining full approval to overturn the unprecedented veto from Mayor Gluba," said P.J. Foley, SAU's director of government and community relations.
On July 16, aldermen initially voted 6 to 4 in favor of the St. Ambrose stadium. Voting in favor of the project were Jason Gordon, Gene Meeker, Bill Edmond, Bill Boom, Jeff Justin, and Kerri Tompkins. Rick Dunn, Ray Ambrose, Barney Barnhill, and Mike Matson voted against the development.
It will take seven ‘yes’ votes by city aldermen to overturn Gluba’s decision. Meeker, though, said he believes the Council will come up with the votes to overturn the mayor's veto.
"We intend, probably by August 6th or so, we'll probably ask for another special meeting to confer and make a decision," said Meeker.
Aldermen have 30 days from the time of the veto to override it.