City Notes: New year, new mayor, and now new City Notes

By Dean Andrews, Charles City Mayor

The powers that be wasted no time in getting me into the City Notes schedule. I guess they figure, might as well get the new guy off to a fresh start.

Dean Andrews
Dean Andrews

But before I start, I want to take a moment to thank Jim Erb for the many years he has served our community. Many people did not see all the time Jim spent representing Charles City on local, regional and even state levels. He served tirelessly, always working to improve our community and for this we thank him.

But as Jim would tell you, there is always something we can be doing to make things better. Some of the issues I see us working on include:

• Better broadband availability for our city, both commercial and residential.

• Continued progress in well-paying, benefit-providing, quality jobs.

• Enhanced educational opportunities to provide the necessary skills for workers to fill these quality jobs.

• A full range of housing selections and opportunities to provide these workers and all of our citizens a residential choice.

• Recreational, cultural and other quality of life options to meet the desires of all of our residents, whether they be young or old or somewhere in between.

• Support of law enforcement as well as counseling support to help maintain a safe and welcoming community.

This list is certainly not a total list of projects for the next year, but it provides a start. I hope to expand on some of these issues in future City Notes, but for now, I think it is time we prioritize.

Several weeks ago I attended an Iowa League of Cities workshop for new mayors and city council members. The workshop covered several areas of city government, but one of the concepts that was emphasized most was setting goals for the next year.

With the council ready to begin a series of meetings to determine our next year’s budget, setting goals is a good place to start. If we know what we want to accomplish, not only can we budget accordingly, but we can also revisit those goals throughout the year to see how we are progressing.

The council held a goal-setting workshop last year with a facilitator from the University of Iowa. At our first budget work session next week, we plan to review those goals, add new ideas, and prioritize our path for the coming year.

My hope is that through this process, we can set our sights on issues that will lead to a progressive year for Charles City.