By Kris Gulick
It has been an honor to represent District 1 and the City of Cedar Rapids for the past eight years and I appreciate the support from the residents of District 1. My professional experience as a Certified Public Accountant coupled with my experience as a parks and recreation professional has provided me with a unique background to aid in decision making for the city council.
Financial decisions are always at the forefront of City Council decisions because so many of our decisions require the allocation of limited financial resources. The city is in the quality-of-life business and nothing represents this better than the need to have a community in which businesses and residents want to live, work and play. I am seeking re-election to continue work on these priorities:
l Economic development. We need to continue to create the environment and culture to recruit and grow new businesses, support expansion of existing employers and create more good-paying jobs.
l Quality of life. Good jobs draw new residents to the area and keep young people here but there is more to quality of life than work. My extensive experience and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in parks and recreation provide a deep understanding that residents also want community amenities.
l Fiscal responsibility. My experience as a CPA, financial accounting consultant and small business owner is important when the council is deciding how to balance community needs and wants with the resulting pressures placed upon property taxes. I helped develop the city’s long-term financial plan, which guides important council decisions.
l Collaboration and communication. We need to continue to find ways to improve the city’s operational effectiveness by working with partners in the region. Implementation of business process improvement activities is essential to making the city government work as efficiently and effectively as possible. We need to continue to collaborate with state and federal entities and local interests to put a long- term flood protection system in place. I have continued to work on informing residents about city issues through my quarterly district meetings and by hosting “Council Conversations” with residents in District 1.
Even more important than being someone who states a position on issues and makes campaign promises is someone who can make good decisions on issues that have not yet been anticipated. Neither residents nor the City Council can anticipate all of the decisions that will have to be made in the coming years. Who could have thought six years ago that the council would have had to make many of the decisions surrounding the flood?
In the past, I have been objective in my decision-making process. I will continue to look at both sides of an issue before making decisions. The City Council’s decisions have long-lasting consequences, so residents should expect no less.
l Kris Gulick is the District 1 City Council incumbent. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org.