Bettendorf honored one of its former mayors on Friday. City officials dedicated Hutchinson Plaza in front of city hall, for Ann Hutchinson, the longest serving mayor of the city.
She served for 16 years, from 1988 to 2003.
In the late 80's Bettendorf was in serious financial trouble, running out of money and with no bond rating. Hutchinson was overwhelmingly elected in her first try for public office, and is given credit for putting the city back on a sound financial footing.
"With the city council's support, we chose not to sell the golf course, we chose not to sell the Children's Museum, we chose not to sell the Lincoln Center for the Cultural Arts. We re-structured our debt, rebuilt our staff, and we planned for the future."
She hired Decker Ploehn, from the police department, to be her city administrator.
"Teddy Kennedy said about his brother on his death - that some men see things as they are and say why, but I dream of things that never were and say why not. I believe that was what Ann said the whole time she was mayor - why can't we do this."
Hutchinson is credited with planning and accomplishing a wide range of major projects, including the Learning Campus, made up of the Family Museum and Library, re-vitalizing downtown Bettendorf, bringing riverboat gambling to the city, and even some of the preliminary planning for the new I-74 Bridge.