Monday, May 18

Iowa City Council Race to the Center?

In a little over six months, current council members Connie Champion, Mike O'Donnell and Amy Correia's seats will be up for grabs. However, so far Iowa City council candidates are a little shy coming out of the gate. At present business people Susan Mims (a former school board member)and Terry Dickens (a central-district business owner) have formally announced their candidacy for the two at-large seats (one of which will be vacated by Correia). The question is will any more progressively minded folks step forward to address issues that the current council has been slow to act on, like an affordable housing agenda which may include inclusionary zoning.

When the current council was elected, it was widely thought that there would be movement toward addressing housing needs for moderate and low-income workers. To date, that has not born fruit, in part because of the flooding in 2008, but also the inability for this council to prioritize their agenda so as to accomplish the task. With a need to reinvigorate the tax-base, it seems unlikely that the council will move ahead, even with city staff seeking input on the next City Steps plan (at the ICPL Thursday night at 7 pm).

For Iowa City's future, it is hoped that a more diverse candidate pool arises.