By Chuck Swore
Over the past several years, our city has undergone tremendous growth. We have endured one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history and have exceeded many estimates on the average length of recovery of an event of this magnitude. Make no mistake, we still have many important issues facing us, such as flood recovery and continued growth, but I am proud of what we accomplished as a city. It has been my honor to represent my hometown as one of your at-large council members for the last four years.
Many of you know I grew up in Cedar Rapids. I have lived and worked in Cedar Rapids for almost 70 years, I was an electrician for 12 years, a union business agent for six years and represented a local contractor and was responsible for business development for 30 years. This experience was in helping to build a better Cedar Rapids. I believe I have developed the necessary skills to grow our city in a sustainable manner.
During my time on the City Council, I have spearheaded the buy-local, build-local, employ-local efforts of the city following the flood. This effort has helped keep tens of millions of dollars in our community and has resulted in new investments, new businesses and new opportunities for the people of Cedar Rapids.
Another initiative I am very proud of is that of helping to streamline city processes for residents and businesses. When I was first elected, I heard too many complaints that the city was just too difficult to work with. I have worked with our city manager and city staff to change the culture of City Hall to make it more service oriented and customer friendly. Now I find developers hoping to bring new projects to our city are excited about the prospect of doing business in and with Cedar Rapids. It is also easier for our residents who have business with the city to provide input and address concerns.
Representing Cedar Rapids has been rewarding and challenging. Because of our recovery, we have experienced unprecedented growth. I know not all of the decisions that have been made by the City Council have been greeted with enthusiasm, but I do believe I have taken great care in making sure all views are heard. I have actively sought out residents with
divergent points of view and will continue to do so if re-elected. It is the responsibility of the council to gather input and finally make decisions.
I am proud of the direction we have taken over the past several years and believe we still have great potential for further growth. My priorities as a council member are to increase opportunities for the residents and businesses of Cedar Rapids, make sure we have a sound infrastructure and make sure all who are interested in our government are heard.
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