Carollo: Progress with purpose and pride

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of five articles about the five candidates vying for the second-ward seat on the Marshalltown City Council.

A 55-year resident of the second ward wants to represent his home area on the Marshalltown City Council.

Jay Carollo, 66, like fellow candidates Leigh Bauder, Brittany O’Shea, and Bob Untiedt, is making his second try for the seat after the city council declined their applications to serve by appointment last month.

Undaunted, they are on the ballot for the Feb. 27 special election to fill the seat, vacated when then second ward seat councilor Joel Greer was sworn in as mayor Jan. 2.

Joining them is political newcomer Gabe Isom.

In a recent interview with the Times-Republican, Carollo said a top priority would be economic development.

He said he would work for job creation, housing opportunities, increased tourism and downtown development using a team approach melded with regular communication.

“I believe it is critical for Marshalltown’s future to be working with the mayor and councilors, the Marshall County Board of Supervisors, Marshall Economic Development, Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Central Business District and employers who call Marshalltown home,” he said. “Should I be elected, it would be my goal to communicate on a regular basis with all of the (development) groups. And, a key part of communicating is listening. I do not see myself being just a second ward representative … yes the second ward would be my primary function, but I do believe a councilor should work for the best of Marshalltown too.”

Regarding housing, Carollo said at the Jan. 5 second ward appointment interview session conducted by the city council, the second ward has lots of area that can be developed. “I think that there are developers willing to put property in if there was some co-op between the municipality and the developer.”

He said there may be an opportunity for development in the Van Orman Road area.

Carollo is bullish on the second ward’s — and Marshalltown’s future.

“Marshalltown has a lot going for it,” he said. “We are at a point where we are seeing a lot of progress with the Iowa River Trail, as the ‘in town portion’ has been done, and more is scheduled heading up to Albion in 2018. (TRAILS, Inc. the local not-for-profit group spearheading the project, wants to have the Marshalltown to Marshall County/Hardin County multi-purpose recreational trail paved by 2020).

Carollo cited improvements at MEGA-10 Park, West End Park, and possible renovations (contingent on funding) at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

If elected, Carollo would not be a stranger to the workings of government or in making tough decisions.

“I enjoy people, visiting and learning about old and new ideas,” he said.

He listed the many city and county commissions he has served, They are:

• President of Board of Trustees at Riverside Cemetery for the past two years, and serving on its board four years.

He considers its 95 acres, 24,000-plus burials and 154-year history a significant community asset.

• Currently active with Central Iowa Genealogical Society, presiding for the past five years.

• Former commissioner on Planning and Zoning, where he was chairman for two terms.

• Previously served on the Site-Plan & Review Board for city and downtown signage and window treatments.

• Served seven years with the E-911 City/County Service Board. Was chair for several years.

• Served approximately three years with the initial Orpheum Centre Inc. committee, which worked to

save and preserving the vintage and historic RKO Orpheum theatre building before the restoration efforts by Marshalltown CBD, and Marshalltown Community College and grant givers finished.

A Westchester, N.Y. native, Carollo moved here at age 11, when he his late father was transferred by the Dunham Bush Co. to Marshalltown.

Now retired, he had a varied career with Avey Funeral Home, Marshall Motor Coach and Tri-State Lock Service.

“Marshalltown history is a pet subject ever since doing a report in the seventh grade and meeting the mayor, city clerk and police chief,” he said. “I have amassed a large collection and library of Marshalltown memorabilia and reference materials and have often been referred to as ‘Marshalltown’s historian.’ “

Accordingly, he is T-R correspondent authoring a column for “Past Times,” a supplement devoted to Central Iowa history.

Carollo said Marshalltown is his hometown after living and working here for more than five decades.

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Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com