Vote for Greer, Wirin and Martin

The election for mayor and city council is next Tuesday, Nov. 7. I would encourage all Marshalltown citizens to exercise their right to vote in this important election. I would like to thank all of the candidates who have taken the time to offer the voters a choice. Marshalltown is fortunate in having persons willing to engage in the election process and serve our city.

One of the issues in this election that has been discussed is whether Marshalltown should abolish the position of city manager and return to the mayor-council form of government. This would be an egregious mistake. When communities were smaller and less complicated in terms of operation, this was a reasonable form of government. With the advent of larger cities and growth, this form of government is not adequate to meet the needs of a city like Marshalltown. In 1990, Marshalltown recognized the need for a city manager to provide expertise to the council in the operation and planning for development of the city. Under our ordinance, the city manager is required to have a master’s degree in public administration and extensive experience as a city manager or city administrator. No city council member or mayor is competent to manage a city the size of Marshalltown. We need a professional to serve as city manager who has expertise and knowledge in city government, contracts, human resources, finances, personnel management, labor law and securing state and federal grants. The mayor and council provide insight and assistance to the city manager, who serves at their pleasure.

Mayoral candidate Joel Greer and at-large candidates Bethany Wirin and Bill Martin have made it clear that they will continue to support a mayor-council governmental system led by our city manager. Utilizing a city manager provides the best opportunity for Marshalltown to continue to grow and provide needed services to all members of the community. We cannot go backwards.

I would encourage the citizens of Marshalltown to look closely at this issue and support Mr. Greer, Ms. Wirin and Mr. Martin.