Riverdale celebrates Three Flags Day

Riverdale celebrates Three Flags Day

Three Flags Day commemorates a relatively obscure moment in American history.

From the Atlas Obscura website …

Although the Louisiana Purchase technically went through on April 30, 1803, transferring hundreds of millions of acres of land is no small feat. It took months for the requisite arrangements to be made. Throughout the summer and fall of 1803, Congress signed papers, and money changed hands. That winter, there was an official Americanizing ceremony in New Orleans, which served as the territory’s capital. 

A depiction of the signing of the Louisiana Treaty near New Orleans.


But because it was winter in the 1800s, the many territory residents north of New Orleans didn’t get word of that switch until much later. So in March of 1804, it was decided that there should be another official ceremony, in St. Louis.


But there was a small problem: St. Louis was one of the cities the Spanish hadn’t gotten around to giving up. Authorities soon realized that, in order to actualize the territory’s new identity, “two treaties must be put into effect at one time,” writes historian Walter Barlow Stevens in St. Louis, The Fourth City. First, the land had to be be transferred from Spain to France. Then, it had to be be transferred again, from France to the United States.

Keeping all that in mind, Mayor Anthony, at Tuesday’s meeting of the Riverdale City Council, issued a mayoral proclamation making the period from noon on March 9 through noon on March 10, Three Flags Day in Riverdale.


Hug your favorite engineer during “Engineers’ Week” in Riverdale

Hug your favorite engineer during “Engineers’ Week” in Riverdale

Local businesses and the City of Riverdale rely on the advice and counsel of engineers to make sure their businesses continue to operate efficiently and cost-effectively. Recognizing the importance and value of engineers and the need to continue encouraging young people to look at STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields for potential careers, Mayor Anthony Heddlesten has proclaimed that the week of February 20, 2022 shall be Engineers’ Week in Riverdale, Iowa.

So, show your appreciation to your favorite engineer. But when you give him or her a hug, watch out for that pocket protector!

Mayoral Proclamation making the week of February 20th Engineers Week


The Proclamation

Whereas, the National Society of Professional Engineers is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers​.

Whereas, the Quad City Engineering and Science Council is celebrating this Thursday by awarding engineering awards to a variety of people and organizations throughout our region that exemplify what it means to be an engineer.

Whereas, the Society of American Military Engineers, Rock Island Post and American Society of Civil Engineers, Quad City Chapter are hosting their annual training event this Friday to provide continuing education and a broad sharing of engineering knowledge across our Region.

Whereas, EWeek promotes recognition among parents, teachers, and students of the importance of a technical education and a high level of math, science, and technology literacy, and motivates youth, to pursue engineering careers in order to provide a diverse and vigorous engineering workforce.

Whereas, the City of Riverdale relies frequently on the technical expertise of engineers, particularly that of our City Engineer, Chris Cooper, PE, of MSA Professional Services as well as additional ones our community and others hire out at times to support specific technically challenging projects such as the Woods Estates stormwater system and the Fenno Road rehabilitation.

Whereas, businesses in our community, such as Arconic, Schebler, and Allied Valve rely on the skills of their engineers to produce some of the finest products in the world, right here in our community.

,our community is helping to build the next generation of engineers with teachers and programs in STEM at one of the state’s best high schools, Riverdale’s own Pleasant Valley High School, and engineering technology degrees from Riverdale’s own Scott Community College.

Therefore, be it resolved, that I, Anthony Heddlesten, PE, Mayor of the City of Riverdale, Iowa, myself a professional engineer, do hereby proclaim the week of February 20-26, 2022

Engineers’ Week

And encourage all residents, staff, and visitors to our community to explore the great engineering opportunities within our community and reflect on the improvements that engineers have made to our community since its founding, 69 years ago.

Honoring long-time resident Charles DCamp on his 90th birthday!

Honoring long-time resident Charles DCamp on his 90th birthday!

Dr. Charles DCamp served as the original band director at the new Pleasant Valley High School when it opened in the 60s and went on to teach and conduct at St. Ambrose University and lead various community bands including the Quad City Wind Ensemble and our favorite, The DCamp Family Band (not to be confused with Sgt. Peppers and his Lonely Hearts Club Band). Dr. DCamp also served the City of Riverdale as a member of its volunteer fire department and long-time resident (25 years).

February 16th marked Dr. DCamp’s 90th birthday.

And so, in recognition of Dr. DCamp’s various contributions to the welfare of the communities he’s served, Wednesday, February 16, 2022, has been named Dr. Charles DCamp Day in Riverdale by proclamation issued by Mayor Anthony Heddlesten.

Dr. Charles DCamp Day Mayoral Proclamation


The Proclamation

Whereas, Dr. Charles DCamp was a resident of Riverdale from 1965 to 1990.

Whereas, Dr. DCamp was an instrumental music instructor for Riverdale’s own Pleasant Valley Community School District from 1963 to 1974.”

Whereas, Dr. DCamp was a long-time member of the Riverdale Volunteer Fire Department.

Whereas, Dr. DCamp went on to serve as director of bands for St. Ambrose University and is listed as Professor Emeritus and Director Emeritus of Bands after serving the University for over 30 years.”

Whereas, Dr. DCamp, alongside his family, recently celebrated his milestone 90th birthday at Riverdale City Hall.”

Therefore, be it resolved, that I, Anthony Heddlesten, Mayor of the City of Riverdale, Iowa, do hereby proclaim February 16th, 2022

Dr. Charles DCamp Day

And encourage all residents, staff, and visitors to our community to join me in wishing Dr. DCamp a happy birthday, a thank you for his years of service to our community and the greater Quad City region, and our best wishes on many more birthdays to come.

Riverdale celebrates its independence streak on Thursday!

Riverdale celebrates its independence streak on Thursday!

Mayor Anthony Heddlesten reminded Riverdale residents that this February 10th marked the 69th anniversary of the court decision that reaffirmed Riverdale’s right to exist, independent of Bettendorf. The legal battle stretches back into the 1940s when the City of Bettendorf first tried to annex more land in the Pleasant Valley Township.

Eventually, the Mayor of Bettendorf filed suite against the Town of Riverdale in an attempt to invalidate the smaller city’s rights and acquire the community’s property, including the ALCOA Davenport Works which enjoyed lower property taxes because of its location within the city limits of Riverdale (and not Bettendorf).

At Tuesday night’s City Council Meeting, Mayor Anthony Heddlesten officially proclaimed Thursday, February 10, 2022 Riverdale Independence Day in the City of Riverdale, Iowa.

Riverdale Independence Day Proclamation – February 10, 2022


February is #RiverdaleThatsWhere Month

February is #RiverdaleThatsWhere Month

Each community in the Quad Cities received its own “That’s Where” icon to use as part of the regional marketing effort.

The Quad Cities launched it’s “That’s Where” campaign on October 21, 2021 – and with it, the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce called on local businesses and communities to work together to share the good news about the region’s quality of life, resources and opportunities. 

According to the Chamber’s website:

Where exactly is the QC?

It’s long been a thorny question. But this campaign finally answers that question and uses the opportunity to entice newcomers with facts about our family of communities. It’s meant to inspire a mindset and way of talking that creates an emotional connection with the audience. This brand’s essence is designed to spark curiosity and pride in the accomplishments of the QC.

The launch of “QC, That’s Where!” – a bold new brand and marketing campaign – will generate awareness by cutting through the clutter and grabbing the attention of potential visitors, investors, new talent and residents – all while putting the region firmly on the map.

And now Riverdale will step up and do its part to help put the Quad Cities on the map. On Tuesday, February 1, 2022, Mayor Anthony Heddlesten officially named February as #RiverdaleThatsWhere month with an official, mayoral proclamation.

#RiverdaleThatsWhere Month Proclamation for February 1, 2022


The Proclamation

Whereas, the greater Quad City community is currently engaged in a marketing campaign with the hashtag “#QCThatsWhere”.​

Whereas, Riverdale is a vibrant and important element in the Quad City region, being home to the nation’s largest aluminum rolling mill, the high school and district offices of one of Iowa’s top school districts, historic landmarks, excellent parks, beautiful homes, and a regional community college.

Whereas, we want to celebrate Riverdale in a manner supportive of the greater Quad Cities

Whereas, Riverdale will celebrate its 69th anniversary as an Iowa City in February 2022

Therefore, be it resolved, that I, Anthony Heddlesten, Mayor of the City of Riverdale, Iowa, do hereby proclaim February, 2022

#RiverdaleThatsWhere Month

and encourage all residents, staff, and visitors to our community to celebrate their favorite and most unique parts of our community by sharing them via social media with the hashtags #RiverdaleThatsWhere for our community and #QCThatsWhere for our greater region.

January 31st is PV Township Day in Riverdale

January 31st is PV Township Day in Riverdale

Scott County is one of the first territories settled west of the Mississippi River and the valley where Riverdale lies was considered a prime spot for farmers and others looking to locate near the river in the mid-1800s. In fact, the area was described in the nineteenth century as having a “natural beauty … that once seen, can never be forgotten.”

No wonder it was called “Pleasant Valley.”

In the 1830s, the area saw Scott County’s first distillery, school, grist mill and saw mill. And by January of 1846, the Scott County Board had formalized the boundaries of a community known ever since as the Pleasant Valley Township.

On Monday, January 31, 2022, Mayor Anthony Heddlesten officially proclaimed the day to be Pleasant Valley Township Day in the City of Riverdale, Iowa.

Pleasant Valley Township Day Proclamation – January 31, 2022

Smith’s Island Map of the old Pleasant Valley Township



The Proclamation

Whereas, the City of Riverdale has always resided within portions or all of sections 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 34, and 35 Pleasant Valley Township, Scott County, Iowa​

Whereas, Willard Barrows, in 1860, described Pleasant Valley Township as “gently sloping bluffs…for several miles, sometimes approaching then receding from the river forming at times landscape views of unsurpassed beauty…one of the most lovely rural scenes on the Upper Mississippi.”

Whereas, in the 1882 book, History of Scott County, Iowa, Pleasant Valley Township is described as “natural beauty of that portion of Scott County…that once seen can never be forgotten.”

Whereas, Pleasant Valley Township was home to the County’s first distillery (1839), first school (1835), first grist-mill (1835), and first saw mill (1835)

Whereas, in the January 1846 Scott County Board meeting the Pleasant Valley Precinct became a formal Township following the lines previously established for Pleasant Valley Precinct.

Therefore, be it resolved, that I, Anthony Heddlesten, Mayor of the City of Riverdale, Iowa, do hereby proclaim January 31, 2022

Pleasant Valley Township Day

and encourage all residents, staff, and visitors to our community to enjoy the unsurpassed and natural beauty that has encompassed our community and all of Pleasant Valley Township for the past 176 years.

Join Riverdale as we remember Dr. Martin Luther King on January 17th.

Join Riverdale as we remember Dr. Martin Luther King on January 17th.

Mayoral Proclamation MLK Jr DayAfter years of campaigning by activists, members of Congress and Coretta Scott King, among others, in 1983 President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a U.S. federal holiday in honor of King. Observed on the third Monday of January, Martin Luther King Day was first celebrated in 1986.

On Tuesday, January 11, 2022, Mayor Anthony Heddlesten officially recognized MLK Day within the City of Riverdale with an official, mayoral proclamation.

Martin Luther King Day Proclamation for January 17, 2022

The Proclamation

Whereas, the struggle for freedom and equality has deep roots in the Quad City community, from the 1857 Dred Scott decision to the current social justice movement and countless events and contributions in between.

Whereas, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. contributed significantly to the identity and culture of our great nation through his contributions towards creating a more just and equitable world for all.”

Whereas, Dr. King’s vision of America is still an important and laudable dream to strive for.

Whereas, the 1994 King Holiday and Service Act (Act) charges all Americans to honor the birthday of Dr. King by engaging in “activities reflecting the life and teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr., such as cooperation and understanding among racial and ethnic groups, nonviolent conflict resolution, equal economic and educational opportunities, and social justice.”

Whereas, inscribed in Washington, DC on his memorial and in his own words, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Whereas,all residents, visitors, and employees of the City of Riverdale are encouraged to, in the honor of Dr. King, and spirit of the Act, engage in activities as they best see fit to move our community, our State, and our Nation towards these laudable ideals that Dr. King espoused, affecting all people in a positive manner.

Therefore, be it resolved, that I, Anthony Heddlesten, Mayor of the City of Riverdale, Iowa, do hereby proclaim January 17th, 2022

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

as a Day of Service in Riverdale, and call upon the people of our community to pay tribute to the life and works of Dr. King not only on this day, but throughout the entire year.

January 4 was Ava Griswold Day in Riverdale.

January 4 was Ava Griswold Day in Riverdale.

On January 4, 2022, long-time Riverdale resident, Ava Griswold McFarlin died peacefully at her home. Ava and her first husband, Paul Griswold, married in 1942 and raised six children – many of whom grew up in Riverdale and attended Pleasant Valley Schools. One of those children, Mark Griswold, attended the meeting of the Riverdale City Council on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, and received a mayoral proclamation honoring Ava and her long residency in the City from Mayor Anthony Heddlesten.

Mayoral Proclamation – Ava McFarlin Day

The Proclamation

Whereas, the City of Riverdale lost a long-time resident and friend to all of Riverdale on 4 January 2022.

Whereas, Ava, in her own words, said, “you can only live so long and I want to do it my way.”

Whereas, Ava had a great sense of humor, a sharp tongue, and loved to embellish any truths to her advantage.

Whereas, Ava was a nurse by vocation, having received a diploma from the Jane Lamb Hospital in Clinton, Iowa; put those skills to work for family, friends, and neighbors; and could always be counted on for being prepared and giving advice.

Whereas, Ava had a tremendous amount of energy all through her life and loved shopping for clothes, collecting tchotchkes, entertaining friends and social groups, and had a very independent spirit.

Whereas, Ava raised six children, had 23 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren, and a couple of grand dogs, some of whom can be found right here in Riverdale. (along with lifelong friend and neighbor, Teri Stickler)

Whereas, Ava was active in her community in groups such as the League of Women Voters, the Bettendorf Presbyterian Church, the YMCA, the Quad City Hiking Club, and as a hospice and mental health volunteer.

Therefore, be it resolved, that I, Anthony Heddlesten, Mayor of the City of Riverdale, Iowa, do hereby proclaim January 4th, 2022

Ava June Irwin Griswold McFarlin Day in Riverdale, Iowa.

January 12 is COVID-19 Awareness Day.

January 12 is COVID-19 Awareness Day.

The Coronavirus pandemic has hit the United States hard and the Quad Cities has seen its share of infection, sickness and death. By the end of the first week in January, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported Scott County saw an increase of 257.6 cases/day of new COVID-19 infections since Dec. 27. Scott County’s total number of cases since the start of the pandemic jumped to 34,626.

The Iowa Department of Public Health released one more troubling COVID-19 statistic — Scott County’s positivity rate stood at 27% Wednesday.

Here in Riverdale, we’ve had residents suffer with COVID infections and we’ve had some residents succumb to illness. That’s why, in the interest of public education and awareness, Mayor Anthony Heddlesten issued the following Mayoral Proclamation at the first meeting of the Riverdale City Council on Tuesday, January 11, 2022.

Mayoral Proclamation Designating January 12 as COVID-19 Awareness Day in Riverdale

The Proclamation

Whereas, COVID-19 cases are increasing significantly within our region.

Whereas, the Scott County Health Department encourages masking when in indoor spaces, social distancing, getting vaccinated, and getting boosted, if eligible.

Whereas, more information on COVID-19 safety is available from the Scott County Health Department’s COVID-19 website at the following link: https://www.scottcountyiowa.gov/health/covid19

Whereas, vaccines can be found near our community by visiting the website: https://www.vaccines.gov/ or by calling 1-800-232-0233.

Whereas, indoor mask wearing is encouraged in areas of “High” or “Substantial” community transmission as defined on the CDC’s website located here: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view

Therefore, be it resolved, that I, Anthony Heddlesten, Mayor of the City of Riverdale, Iowa, do hereby proclaim January 12th, 2022


In the City of Riverdale, Iowa and call upon the people of the community and City staff to review the information provided by our County and National medical experts, consult with their own personal physicians, and do all they can to help reduce community transmission and save lives.

Some final thoughts on the past four years.

Some final thoughts on the past four years.

Mike Bawden, Mayor of Riverdale

Well, this is the end of my last, regular meeting of the Riverdale City Council, and I have a few thoughts on the past four years I’d like to share with all of you and enter into the official record.  It’s been an interesting period in our nation’s history and a most interesting time to serve as your mayor. It’s been more of a challenge than I had expected or led to believe.

But while it’s been a bit frustrating from time to time, the experience has been instructive, rewarding and, at times, even fun.

Not every idea I brought to this office was a great one. Some were good. Others probably could have stayed on the pad of paper where they originated. But I think one thing I can say quite honestly, is that I wasn’t afraid to try something new if I thought it could improve the quality of life in our little city and, if possible, save us some money in the long run.

Unfortunately, we ran into a few obstacles along the way. You know, little things like floods, water main breaks washing out roads, a volunteer firefighter passing away, occasional blizzard conditions, a summertime drought, our first murder, a pandemic that killed hundreds in Scott County, a pandemic response nearly shutting down our economy for months, a derecho that wiped out trees across the city, and a little controversy over a strip of land at the end of Kensington Street in Havens Acres.

None of that was in my plan. But somehow, we got through it all.

Thanks in no small part to our part-time and full-time staff members like City Administrators Tim Long, Lisa Kotter and Kent Royster; Clerks Ron Fullerlove, Mary Francis Blevins, Scharlott Blevins and Katie Enloe; our amazing volunteer fire department including retired chief Floyd Bruns, our new chief Chris Bernard and chief “burr-under-the-saddle” Brian Ballard; professional advisors like Paul Macek, Mike Walker, Greg Jaegger, Pat Callahan, and Chris Cooper, and Colin Wellenkamp and Brandt Thorington (from the MRCTI); our many board chairs and commission members of P&Z, the ZBA, invasive species task force and other groups.

That especially includes frequent Council Meeting guests, social media friends, Town Hall meeting attendees and other friendly inquisitors: Teri Stickler, Steve Townsend, Dallas Paustian, Judy Krell, The Glews, Lois Kempton, Heather Wren, Don and Pat Fisher, Beth Halsey, Athena Smith, Adam Guillon, and Eric and Wendy Syverud.

Of course, I need to pass along a special thanks to the members of the Riverdale City Council. Some who aren’t on the Council anymore, like Dean Halsey and Cheryl Channon to those currently serving: Doug Littrel, Kevin Adams, Kelly Krell, Paul DCamp and our next mayor, Anthony Heddlesten.

I’d especially like to thank my buddy, Paul, who talked me into running for mayor in the first place. This is all his fault.

I’d like to thank my family for keeping me “real” (casting the only write-in votes for “Mayor McCheese” in the history of Riverdale elections), and to my wife for her patience with me as I took on this challenge and most of all for her support when I was down.

And, finally, I’d like to thank all the citizens of Riverdale for the opportunity to serve and to be of service. It’s been a gift. And I mean that sincerely. Your kind words and gentle support – and, occasionally, not-so-gentle reminders that I can do better – are all greatly appreciated. 

More than you might ever know.

You see, some people, I think, run for political office because they want or need the recognition. They relish the opportunities to be recognized, to read a script for applause, to sit through media interviews or to talk with other important people. That’s not me. Really.

I’m not into public recognition. I don’t need it and don’t actively seek it out. I suppose that’s why I’m lousy at publicly recognizing others. It’s not natural for me. As a result, we’ve probably only had four or five mayoral proclamations while I’ve been in office. If I could be so bold as to make a recommendation to Anthony – do more to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of the people of Riverdale to this community. The last mayor wasn’t so great at that.

But in all honesty, what gets me going is helping other people. I’ve made a career out of that character trait. In my job, it’s usually my responsibility to ask “why not” or “what if” and then figure out a plan to do things people might have otherwise thought to be impractical or down right impossible. Between my optimistic nature and love of change, I’m the kind of guy who thinks we can always do better. 

And that’s what I’d like to leave as the parting thought of this four-year political odyssey:  Riverdale can do better. It can be better.

Our city deserves to be better and it’s up to all of us – in political leadership or private life – to work hand-in-hand to make the kind of community we want in order to avoid getting the community we’ll deserve. Because thinking we’re as good as we can be, that we’ve done all we can do, that there’s nothing left to be done … those are the things that lead to malaise and inefficiency. Frustration and deep disappointment.

People stop talking. Deals get made out of public view. No one is willing to be held accountable. And nothing that matters ever seems to get done.

So, I implore you all to get and to stay involved.

We’re blessed with leaders who care about you and care about Riverdale – but it’s difficult to set a course for the community’s future if the community itself remains silent. I’ve already told Anthony, Kent, and the Council that I’m happy to remain engaged and volunteer my time. I’ll stay involved.

And I won’t be silent.

I ask you all to do the same. Together, we can keep making Riverdale better than it’s ever been before.

So, thanks for the memories … let’s make some more.

– Mayor Mike Bawden