Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2013, 6:10 pm

Ambrose challenged by Ortiz in Davenport Ward 4

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By Stephen Elliott, selliott@qconline.com


Davenport voters elect a mayor and all 10 city council members on Nov. 5. Following is the first of a series of stories about the candidates for the half-dozen seats for which there are contests,

Davenport's Fourth Ward race pits longtime incumbent Ray Ambrose against challenger Robby Ortiz.

Mr. Ambrose said the important issues are economic development, working with the state of Iowa and promoting efforts to lower commercial property taxes, supporting local businesses and recruiting new ones from areas that have higher taxes and are less business friendly.

Mr. Ortiz said budget and public safety are critical. "We are short staffed in the police, fire and public works departments for the city," Mr. Ortiz said. "I will make sure we are staffed correctly to protect and respond to the needs of our citizens."

They differ sharply on the council's role in the effort to get a land-based casino.

"(The council) does terrible at negotiating in "good faith," i.e. casino issue from start to finish," Mr. Ortiz said.

"This council and city administrator has embarrassed and cost the citizens of Davenport first $750,000 of tax dollars in 'due diligence,' but also another $20 million in casino taxes over 10 years, when we no longer negotiated in 'good faith,'" he said.

Ald. Ambrose cited the casino project as one of several success stories, along with Heart of America's retail project, Kahl Home Redevelopment, Restoration St. Louis' next downtown project and a proposed Dock Restaurant.

Ald. Ambrose said the city's pursuit of a new casino "has been very enlightening, along with challenging."



Davenport's Fourth Ward Aldermanic candidates



 Ray Ambrose

Age: No age listed

Address: 1721 Fillmore St.

Occupation: ARC

Education: Attended Assumption High School and Coe College

Political experience: Served on Davenport's city council for nine terms (18 years)

 Robby Ortiz

Age: 41

Address: 1937 Washington St.

Occupation: Small business owner and general manager for three local convenience stores

Education: Graduate of Davenport North High School and Scott Community College's HVAC Program 

Political experience: Candidate At-Large 2009