By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — For the first time as mayor of Davenport, Bill Gluba used his veto power to override two city council decisions July 17. The mayor blocked plans for St. Ambrose University’s sports complex at West Central Park Avenue, along with a restaurant/commercial complex along the riverfront.
The Davenport City Council had voted July 9 to rezone both properties.
Regarding the St. Ambrose property, the mayor cited safety concerns as well as neighborhood and environmental impacts.
“We are extremely disappointed with Mayor Gluba’s unprecedented decision to veto our thorough, well-documented and well-vetted case for the rezoning of our St. Vincent Center (SVC) property,” said Mike Poster, St. Ambrose University’s vice president for finance.
“We spent more than four years working on development plans for the SVC site, and over the course of the past seven months we have worked diligently to complete all steps of the official city Planned Institutional District (PID) processes.
“Our plans were reviewed by Davenport city staff experts for the Community Planning and Economic Development Department, and were judged to have met — and in many cases exceeded — all PID requirements. The Plan and Zoning Commission held a public hearing and voted to approve our plans. The city council held a public hearing, deliberated at meetings held over the course of six weeks, and voted three separate times to approve our rezoning request.
“While Mayor Gluba’s veto represents a temporary setback, we will now focus on taking the time we need to study all available options for moving forward to meet the university’s need for athletics facilities.”
Alderman Bill Boom requested a special meeting to hold a possible override vote for July 23, which was after The Catholic Messenger’s press deadline.