City’s new 1st ward councilor
By MIKE DONAHEY
For the first time in approximately 25 years, first ward residents are now represented by someone other than the late Bob Schubert.
As part of Monday night’s council proceedings, Marshalltown businessman Dan Kester took the oath of office from Marshalltown City Clerk Shari Coughenhour and then took his seat next to Second Ward councilor Joel Greer.
Kester was formally appointed to serve out the remainder of Schubert’s term which expires Dec. 31.
Kester, 50, is a former building contractor and currently vice president of sales and marketing for the Marshalltown Co.. He won over fellow applicant Gary Thompson by a 5-1 vote at a special city council meeting April 3.
Joining Kester and Thompson at the April 3 meeting were seven other candidates.
One candidate who submitted his name for consideration did not attend the interview session.
All candidates were required to answer all nine questions posed by the council.
The questions ranged from strategies in working with the ward’s employers to goals in serving out the remainder of the term, to ideas improving the Central Business District.
Voting for Kester were Greer, Third Ward Councilor Mike Gowdy, and At-Large Councilors Leon Lamer, Bill Martin and Bethany Wirin. Fourth Ward Councilor Al Hoop voted for Thompson, former owner of the UPS Store on Merle Hibbs Blvd., and currently employed at NAPA Auto Parts.
In answer to an interview question, Thompson said he would not run for the first ward seat in the general election.
He did announce his candidacy for mayor.
Mayor Jim Lowrance told the Times-Republican he remains undecided about seeking a second term.
Kester said he will run in the November general election for a four year term to represent the first ward.
Those casting their votes for Kester cited his significant investment in Marshalltown’s Central Business District, his use and experience with CBD programs, and his business and financial acumen among other skills.
“I feel humbled to have been selected,” said Kester. “There were eight other quality candidates … we all had Marshalltown’s best interest at heart … it demonstrated pride in the community. I am looking forward to serving.”
In 2002, Kester, a 1985 Marshalltown High School graduate, and family returned to Marshalltown after living in several Midwest communities.
He and spouse Laura Kester purchased a building at 119 E. Main St. and renovated the top floor into a loft-style living space.
Marshalltown Police Department
Chief of Police Mike Tupper invited residents to ride along with officers.
Tupper said “ride alongs” are beneficial for residents and officers. Tupper also reminded all in attendance April was Sexual Assault Awareness month. Tupper said in one recent year his department investigated 60 sexual assaults. However, Tupper said many incidents go unreported, meaning as many as 240 incidents could be taking place annually. He challenged all to work with the department in addressing this serious community issue, which tragically impact a disproportionate amount of children. For more information, contact Tupper641-754-5771.
In other business:
— Unanimously approved a resolution Approving Plans, Specifications, form of contract and estimated cost directing publication to bidders for the city’s Asphalt Mill and Overlay project.
— Unanimously approved a resolution Approving Plans, Specifications, form of contract and estimated cost and directing publication of notice to bidders, 2017 Full Depth Street Repair. Martin complimented Nickel and his department for their proactive efforts in recent years to address street maintenance. He also complimented fellow councilors for their commitment to the street program.
— Unanimously approved a resolution Approving Plans, Specifications, form of contract, estimated cost and directing publication of notice to bidders for the Wastewater Pollution Control Plant Biogas Generator project. WPCP Director Bob Ranson said anew generator is needed since the other main generator can not be repaired. The new generator can run off methane produced by the facility and also use natural gas from Alliant if the latter is cheaper.
— Lowrance issued a mayoral proclamation announcing April 24 as “Stand Against Racism Day.” The Not In Out Town Committee and the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA are cosponsoring a event that day at noon at the Courthouse Square.
— Greer said the recent “Night of the Stars” event raised $61,000 to be split between Iowa River Hospice and the American Cancer Society. He thanked all who helped make the event a success.
— Lowrance said the late Charles Ethington’s estate donated a number of art prints, which will be placed in city hall as part of a “art in public places initiative.”
The next regular meeting of the city council is 5:30 p.m. April 24, in council chambers, Carnegie Building, 10 W. State St. For more information, contact 641-754-5701, or visit ci.marshalltown.ia.us.
Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.