Two candidates vie for Davenport 8th Ward seat

Posted Online: Oct. 29, 2013, 7:38 pm
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By Stephen Elliott,
DAVENPORT -- Two first-time candidates are running for Davenport's Eighth Ward in Tuesday's election.

Kerri Tompkins and Jamie Woods are vying for the seat left vacant when redistricting left incumbent Ald. Mike Matson in the Seventh Ward. He is running for that seat.

Ms. Tompkins said she wants the city to increase its collaborative efforts.

"One example is including staff in budget preparations to reduce fiscal waste," Ms. Tompkins said. "I attended a budget meeting and witnessed staff within a department present a list of ideas on how to save money.

"Unfortunately, it was too late in the budget process, the ideas were ignored, and staff were instead laid off. This group of staff had a couple of days to brainstorm this list, and it was quite impressive. I believe a great opportunity was missed in collaborating with staff to be proactive in reducing waste."

Ms. Woods said the proposed land-based casino, streets and sewer, downtown flood and city transportation for school-age children are some of the issues that need to be addressed.

Asked what the city does and doesn't do well, along with what they would like to see in Davenport's future, Ms. Tompkins said, "I think Davenport has stayed in tune with technological advancements and opportunities, being open to new ideas and flexible with trying new things by listening to the constituents. Some examples include the recycling programs, garbage collection and snow removal.

"Some areas of concern include the response to constituents (sewer issue), collaboration and partnerships.

"I would like to see Davenport continue with the positive practices, while focusing on basic needs and services. I am a firm believer the responsibilities of the city is safety (police and fire), road and structure maintenance and public services (garbage, library, parks and recreation, etc).

"In regards to goals and plans for the city (housing, downtown improvements, etc.), of course, I would love to see future development throughout the city. As new businesses look to Davenport, I will collaborate with the QC Chamber to create a business-friendly environment."

Ms. Woods said the city does well in providing a variety of different things to do with families.

"Bix Fest, Gilda's Club, John Deere Classic, parks and recreation summer programs for children, just to name a few," she said.

Ms. Woods said she would like to see a more transparent city council.

She wants to build stronger communities, encourage economic growth and bring more jobs and apprenticeship programs.

On the city's pursuit of a land-based casino, Ms. Tompkins said, "I believe it was a good thing as it was time to seek a new opportunity for Davenport. In addition, I respect the process this entails. However, it was unfortunate to witness the lack of professionalism and collaborative efforts.

"As a community, I believe we need to partner with the necessary entities and show a united front, as this will entice future business prospects to Davenport."

Ms. Woods said the casino issue is very fluid and has changed from week to week.

"I know I can make a difference and improve the lives of the people in our city," she said. "As a former military spouse, I have lived in many different communities. In each one, I made a difference, rolling up my sleeves addressing each issue together with the community.

"I'm that same person and will be once elected."

Davenport 8th Ward Candidates

  Kerri Tompkins

Age: 39

Address: 5107 Garner Drive

Occupation: Business administrator, Christ United Methodist Church, Davenport

Education: Master of Social Work (concentration in administration), St. Ambrose University

Political experience: Political volunteer for seven years, precinct leader for two, previous member of the Local Government Task Force and DavenportOne Joint State Legislative Committee. In addition, 14 years of management experience, involved in numerous local committees and boards, a 2007 Quad-Cities Area Leader Under 40 and a Davenport citizen for 17 years

  Jamie Woods

Age: 42

Address: Davenport Eighth Ward native

Occupation: Human resources professional

Education: Attended community college

Political experience: Grassroots organizer, city housing commissioner, national delegate 2008 (Texas) and 2012 (Iowa), community leader working with the public engagement team for Iowa at The White House, former active duty military family


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