City governance is somewhat akin to juggling live grenades while wearing 6-inch heels as you maneuver high wire stretched across a seemingly endless abyss. At any given point, even the smallest of changes can upset the balance, resulting in varying degrees of “distress.”
Much attention has been given lately to Coralville’s almost $300 million debt. The City has outlined a timetable during which it is suggested that the current debt might be paid down in the next 15 or so years. Perhaps there is an end to the tightrope.
But the debt is only one part (albeit the one getting most of the attention) of the balancing act.
Local residents have come to expect a quality of life that is a result of endless years of planning and execution to assure that this is an extraordinary community. For many years, we were able to benefit from the natural growth that provided a strong tax base to sustain that quality of life. It’s not quite that simple any more. Choices have to be made to be able to continue to provide the second-to-none services and facilities for which Coralville is known.
These choices are not often easy. Just one consideration for example:
Expense v. revenue: Will the facilities we are financing create jobs or attract new businesses or compel someone or something to relocate here — does the expense ultimately become revenue? What is the future return on our investment of your taxes?
With more than 14 years of involvement in city government, I know what it takes to make those tough decisions and set priorities based on the overall good. During the period of 1996 to 2007, Coralville sustained remarkable growth and provided exemplary services and facilities while maintaining strong finances and Moody’s credit ratings.
When making those difficult choices, it is essential that there be a positive synergy generated by the Council that can only come when the overall good is considered before individual agendas, party politics and furthering the cause of special interest groups. Coralville residents expect to be represented by a fiscally responsible council that works together to provide high-quality, value-engineered services and facilities.
Experienced in a stronger past and committed to a brighter future, I look forward to once again serving the citizens of Coralville. Working together, we can restore confidence and the pride.