Our town, our people — Mayor Joel Greer


“Our town, our people” is a weekly Q&A with a local resident who is active in the community. Have a suggestion for someone we should talk to? Email news@timesrepublican.com

Mayor Joel Greer has lived in Marshalltown for 33 years.

Q: What are you passionate about?

“I can tell you that I’ve spent most of my volunteer life fighting cancer and helping kids. Those are the two things that have been the most important to me. I also think we need to continue to improve our city’s image, so I contact the city’s nuisance officer a lot. I turn things in when I think something needs to be done. I wish we had the ability to do more things, more quickly for the dilapidated, dangerous buildings. So, those are the top three things on my list.”

Q: What community activities do you participate in?

“I’m one of the Fisher Community Center board of Trustees, founder and vice president of Marshall County Crime Stoppers, Trails Inc. Board, incorporator and secretary of Hughes Grove Historic Neighborhood Association, Central Business District Board of Directors, Board of Directors of the Marshalltown Main Street Partnership, Board of directors of Vision Marshalltown, Marshalltown Economic Department Board of Directors, Fisher Community Center Board of Trustees, Marshalltown County Communication Commission (e911); Local Emergency Commissions and Technical Oversight Board, and a member of the Downtown Steering Committee.”

Q: What do you enjoy about this community?

“I love the diversity we have here, and I love the way this town has adapted to it. It’s an exciting time to be the mayor because not only are we rebuilding and repairing, we’re adding on. It’s pretty easy to get excited about the direction the city has gone.”

Q: What changes do you feel need to be made in the community?

“If I had a magic wand, I would get the coliseum built as it’s been designed to be, and I would love to have intergenerational programming going on, so there is an Adopt-A-Grandparent; Adopt-A-Grandchild kind of thing going on. I would love to see more adult and elderly programming so that all three generations would be using the building and intersecting with each other. It would be nice to finish the other recreational trail. I think we could do a better job as a city on recycling. I think there are still too many people who don’t cut their yards, or they park their cars in front of their house, or they have siding that is inappropriate for our city codes. So, we have too many people violating our nuisance ordinances. I wish we had more solar panels driving things and collecting energy. We could use some wind farms or wind turbines like they have over in Nevada.”

Q: What advice would you pass on to young people?

“Get involved. I think in Marshalltown, we have a better deal going than all the micropolitans that our part of our cohort because this ‘Give a Damn about Marshalltown’ group got together, and people started volunteering. Others are involved in public office and nonprofit organizations. It’s just fun to see people under age 45 showing up and helping out.”

Q: What is your favorite Marshalltown activity?

“By far, my favorite night out is ‘Night of Stars.’ I’ve been involved in the Cancer Society; I was the state president and the Midwest Board secretary, and so half of the money goes to the American Cancer Society,the other goes to Iowa River Hospice.”

Q: What social activity or event would you like to see come Marshalltown and why?

“Well, we already have a lot of them, and I’m enjoying the fact that we just had a major softball tournament in town. It was a great concept when Jason Brown came to raise funds for the coliseum.”