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

Do you know any of these people? Are any worth electing to the City Council?

In City Hall on April 3, 2009 at 11:13 am

Nine residents, all men, have taken out nomination papers to run for City Council in the Nov. 3 general election.

Taking out papers and getting citizen signatures on them and turning them in are two different things. But getting papers shows interest. After all, you’ve gone to the trouble to go to the City Clerk’s Office or the Linn County Auditor’s Office to pick the papers up.

The only name of the nine on the list to date that is easily recognized is Jerry McGrane’s. McGrane is the incumbent District 3 council member who has said he intends to seek reelection.

Andrew Murrow, 800 15th St. SE, noted that he, too, was interested in running for the District 3 seat.

Three people said they were interested in running for mayor: Nick Olinger, 1620 Fourth Ave. SE; Steve Almond, 5641 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, #8; and Jeff Allard, 1439 Wolf Dr. NW.

Others taking out papers but not identifying which council seat they might seek are: Mel Hayes, 2210 C St. SW; Robert Bates, Cedar Rapids; Calvin Busch, 1334 C St. SW, #3; and Daniel Schloss, 1500 Bever Ave. SE.

To date, only one candidate has announced publicly that he is running for city office. That is Ron Corbett, a vice president at trucking firm CRST Inc. and a former state legislator and former president/CEO of the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. Corbett is running for mayor.

Six of the council’s nine seats are on this year’s ballot. The incumbents in those seats are Mayor Kay Halloran, District 1 council member Kris Gulick, District 3’s McGrane, District 5’s Justin Shields and at-large council members Brian Fagan and Pat Shey.

Halloran has said she will announce her intentions after the end of the Iowa Legislature’s session this spring.

Back in 2005 — the first election in the city’s then-new government with a part-time council and a city manager — nearly 40 people ran for the nine seats.

Three of the seats were open in 2007 to create a stagger so not all nine seats would be up for election the same year. In 2007, two incumbents, District 2’s Sarah Henderson and District 4’s Chuck Swore, were defeated by Monica Vernon and Chuck Wieneke. At-large council member Tom Podzimek won reelection in 2007.

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  1. One selling point to changing the form of government; more people would run. Close to 40 people ran in the last election. Most of those people decided late because the district boundaries were not drawn until late summer. It is great to see so many people interested, it shows they care about the future of Cedar Rapids. This year, citizens will elect the nucleus of the city council for the next four years. I hope more people decide to run.

  2. Ron is correct. An open and honest debate of the issues will be the result of many canidates for the various council seats.

  3. Ron, I hope more people who share your vision for this community run. Sarah Henderson At-Large would be a good start.

  4. Rick – I plan on running for Jerry McGrane’s seat. – have printed out my own papers. I will be sending out a press release soon. My district needs someone who not only understands our plight as flood survivors but also understands the struggles of families that live in other working class neighborhoods. We must make these neighborhoods safe. I know some think that fixing up the area will deter crime. Having immaculate surroundings didn’t help those who committed crimes on Wall Street. We must involve our neighbors and let them know that we all have something to contribute to our community. There are talents and gifts our working class families have to offer. It is time to stop pushing our families down and not appreciating them for the value they add to our community.

  5. The only one that I see who I know would be a good member of the City Council is our next Mayor,Ron Corbett.I kind of go for Sarah Henderson as At-Large.I’ve had misagreements with both of them BUT
    I sincerely believe that they will help to get this new City Government running the way it was intended.When election time comes we definitely need to replace the Mayor,(3) At-Large members and at least a couple of the District members.I know they aren’t all up for election this time around.While we’re at it,let’s ship
    “Speed-dial”Prosser out of here and get a new City Manager who doesn’t think he’s our CEO.Did anyone know that Bill Hoekstra had the credentials to be a City Manager?He might have been a good one,as he did do alot with the city bus system
    Don’t forget these two names:RON CORBETT (MAYOR);SARAH HENDERSON
    (AT-LARGE).Let’s also put Rick Smith in there as At-Large.

  6. Yes to what Jim Cannon said and a big “Oh Hell No!” to Potts.

  7. Wow. I just can’t guess who “Taxpayer” might be.

    Let’s review:

    1. Heaps huge amounts of praise on former city councilwomen Sarah Henderson.

    2. Supports Ron Corbett for Mayor who is the likely opponent of City Councilwoman Monica Vernon (who handily beat Sarah Henderson). ….

    Jeeeez, I wonder if … “Taxpayer” should unveil himself and put his name to his comments if he is going to trash city council candidates and elected officials while promoting former city councilwoman Sarah Henderson.

  8. Truth – I think I know who Taxpayer is also. We both have sworn a oath to the memory of the brave Kosek 16th Ave Czech Village Prune/Potatoe Kolach Trust (on deposit at St Lud’s Credit Union).

    Much like the brave Polish Cavalry fighting off the Nazi’s HEROICALLY during WWII, we can not break this sacred oath.

    Not now, not ever, kingdom wihtout end.

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