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Community Notes: Remember to vote Tuesday, March 1

By Keith Starr, Charles City Council member

At the top of my list is the Local Option Sales Tax vote scheduled for March 1. We presently pay local option sales tax. This continues that funding source.

I like how the city has used this tax to replace and upgrade roads. This was a major assistance in the highway paving this summer. There is a map on the chamber website showing the road work done.

Community Notes: Remember to vote Tuesday, March 1
Keith Starr

The 2022 vote would allow up to 10% for public safety. I have been on the ambulance board for many years. Early on the ambulance contractors paid us for services associated with the ambulance. Now the city and county contribute a significant amount to keep the service. This proposal would assist in supporting ambulance as well as the fire and police department.

Whatever way you choose, choose to vote.

This year, as most years, Charles City has been presented with many challenges and opportunities.

The biggest hurdle for me was the unusually tight budget caused by reductions in property assessments due to lower appraisals and state reductions with rollbacks in property assessments. The budget that is in the process of being approved works through some of these obstacles but may be stressed further depending on where the Legislature takes us.

This year also brought the loss of Dirk Uetz, the long time street superintendent. Dirk’s work ethic and knowledge of the city was invaluable. He will be missed.

From a more personal level I am happy for Dr. Molnar, but sorry to see that he stepped down from practicing medicine. He and I came to town about the same time and had an opportunity to be associated for 20-plus years. He was in many ways the greatest blend of family practice doctor and advocate for his patients. He will be missed as well.

They say bad things come in threes so the third in my world is Jerry Joerger choosing not to run for reelection to the council. He tolerated sitting beside me since the beginning of my terms.

Watching Pat Lumley step up to analyze situations and ask questions makes me believe that he will be a tremendous leader on the council as Jerry was.

I am looking forward to RAGBRAI coming to town. This gives us a chance to show the world why we choose to live in Charles City.

The last time the group came to Charles City I promptly invited 25 strangers to stay at our home – then mentioned that to my wife. Then went on my annual fishing trip just as the refrigerator went out. I may do that in a different order this year.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve the community.


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