So long, Marshalltown

When I began my newspaper career I wrote a weekly column for two years.

It took a lot of time and dedication to come up with ideas and execute them into something readable and enjoyable. The perks were interactions with readers, a limited fan base (thanks, mom) and the occasional free cocktail. However, when I had the opportunity to not write a column anymore, I was quite OK with that.

This week as I sat at lunch with two good friends they demanded I write a farewell column, to which I replied, “meh.”

But I did wholeheartedly agree that I owe some sort of recognition to the Times-Republican and the community of Marshalltown. To say it’s been a privilege is an understatement.

When I started as the managing editor at the T-R five years ago I didn’t realize I would be working with an incredible mentor. Mike Schlesinger has been an amazing example to me as a newspaper professional, manager and community leader. I’ve learned more than I can relate here from Mike and can certainly say I would not be the editor or person I am today without his influence.

To my news and sports team – you amaze me. It’s hard for even our most dedicated subscriber to understand the dedication and passion they possess. We’ve done some incredible work and had a lot of fun along the way. I’m looking forward to keeping tabs on you all.

Marshalltown will always have a piece of my heart. It’s hard not to love the spirit here, the collaboration, the scores of leaders who work constantly to make this a wonderful community. I was impressed with Marshalltown when I arrived, but five years later I can say you’ve all completely knocked my socks off.

I’m just so proud to have been a part of this community. I am inspired and energized by you.

And what’s a good column without a few endorsements? The city will soon be asking voters if Marshalltown needs new facilities for its police and fire departments. The answer is yes. Since the referendum hasn’t been rolled out yet I can’t say I know all the details. But I do know that every community member needs to personally see the buildings which house our police officers and firefighters. It’s simply unsafe and unacceptable. They deserve better and this community deserves better.

The Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center is seeking a cancer center for its new facility. This will be an incredible asset to the community if the application is approved. You should help make this happen by writing a letter of support and sending it to MMSC at

Since it’s Marshalltown there are dozens of other projects happening right now. Find out about them and have pride in your community. I sure do.

Abigail Pelzer is the exiting managing editor at the Times-Republican. She is joining the Newton Daily News as its editor.