Civic leaders needed to run for office

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By Molly Moser

The seats of park board members Helene Kuempel, Shane Anderson and Jim Johnston; hospital board members Doug Reimer and Sue Osterhaus and city councilors Fred Schaub, Steve Friedlein and Virginia Saeugling, as well as the mayoral position, will be up for election this fall in Guttenberg, and the documents required to run for those offices are now available at the city office, the county office, and online. 

“In order to run for city council or mayor, a candidate must be a resident of Guttenberg, be eligible to vote in elections, and be a U.S. citizen age 18 or older. Candidates may not be convicted of a felony, be currently judged incompetent by a court or eligible to vote in another city. Candidates will also need to have a petition signed by at least 15 signatures of eligible voters for the election,” said Jamie Blume, Assistant City Manager. 

She recommends the Iowa Secretary of State’s candidate guide to city elections, available at https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/pdf/electioninfo/citycndgde.pdf. Potential council members should be prepared to review council packets, typically 100 pages long, prior to meetings and attend monthly meetings as well as special meetings and additional committee meetings as advisors during the four years they serve. “They should also be prepared to have residents call or stop them on the street with questions and concerns regarding city matters,” explained Blume.

In addition to those duties, mayoral candidates should expect to spend additional time in the city office signing paperwork following meetings and meeting with city staff.  The mayor is also in charge of the police department for the city and oversees the chief of police.

“The river has been creating many challenges for the city in the last year or two with higher than normal water levels,” said Blume, describing issues that the future council members and mayor will face. “The potential pool project could create some challenges, and there will need to be work performed on water lines and the street on South River Park Drive in the coming years.”

Many challenges in the ever-evolving medical industry await members of the Guttenberg Municipal Hospital board. During the course of their four-year terms, the five board members must maintain the organization’s mission; act as a trustee for the assets and investments of the hospital for the citizens of the GMH service area; select, advise, and evaluate the hospital CEO; grant physician staff privileges and ensure that quality medical care is provided; provide direction for the affairs of the hospital and ensure the development and growth of the institution’s services and ensure high quality, safe patient care and service. 

Park board member’s duties include attending monthly meetings to discuss events in the park and offering recommendations to the city council and staff about proposed additions or changes to the park. The board approves signage and tents for events.  “Lately their concentration has been on the restoration work that should soon be performed on the Indian Memorial, updating the landscaping around the north restroom (formerly the Corps of Engineers’ restroom), and the condition of the park benches along the river walk,” Blume explained. 

“In coming years the city plans to upgrade the north restroom to bring it up to ADA compliance, which might involve the park board in some aspects,” she added. At their July 3 meeting, the city council granted the park board’s request to give control of the lot south of Picket Fence Café to the park board as part of the park, so discussion of that new addition to the park lies ahead. 

The required documents for those interested in running for office can be printed from https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/electioninfo/CityElections.html or can be picked up at the city office or county office.  Completed paperwork must be filed at the county office between Aug. 28 and Sept. 21 at 5 p.m. 

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