The Gazette covers City Hall, now a flood-damaged icon on May's Island in the Cedar River

Living legends might be among those in the hunt for Cedar Rapids mayor

In Brian Fagan, City Hall, Gary Hinzman, Mayor Kay Halloran, Monica Vernon, Ron Corbett, Scott Olson on January 19, 2009 at 7:30 pm

It’s not easy getting your name affixed to a public building, especially if you have not given oodles to build the thing or you’re still alive.

Even so, two individuals mentioned in the last week as possible candidates in this year’s Cedar Rapids mayoral race — Ron Corbett and Gary Hinzman — both have managed to get their names on public buildings.

Corbett’s name is on the Corbett-Miller residential cottage at the Iowa Boy’s Training School at Eldora.

And Hinzman’s name is on the Gerald R. Hinzman Center, a residential correctional facility on the southwest Cedar Rapids campus of the Sixth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services. Hinzman has been executive director of the department since 1989.

Corbett’s placement of his name on a building came in 2000, the year after he left the Iowa Legislature as Speaker of the House to become president of the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. He left the Chamber in 2005 to become a vice president at CRST Inc., a Cedar Rapids trucking firm.

Corbett, as House speaker, shares space on the Training School cottage with Tom Miller, the Iowa Attorney General. Both were credited with working “to develop a spectrum of services for troubled juveniles,” according to the legislative action placing the Corbett and Miller names on the Eldora cottage.

Hinzman, a former Cedar Rapids police chief, joined the Department of Correctional Services 20 years ago.

In that time, he moved the department’s operation from a neighborhood setting to a campus in an industrial area on the edge of town. From there, the campus and its services have expanded. His department’s board decided to affix his name on one of the new buildings that has gone up on the campus over the years.

Three other names also have been circulated now as mayor possibilities. They are current council members Brian Fagan, an attorney, and Monica Vernon, a business owner, and former mayoral candidate Scott Olson, a local Realtor.

Mayor Kay Halloran said she won’t comment on a reelection bid until after the Iowa Legislature is done with its work, which usually comes in April.

  1. I’m voting for Ron.

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