Marion is a progressive city that provides high-quality services, which promote an active, safe, and healthy environment and enables the best standard of living possible through cost-effective governance.
My wife, Teresa, and I have been married for 40 years and lived in Marion for 35 years. I’ve worked for Rockwell Collins for 35 years.
I have served Marion for the last six years on the City Council. Since I began my service:
l Remember the “Save 7th Ave” signs? Public opinion was very negative on the original plans. Today, we are reaping that growth with an amazing building effort occurring in Up Town Marion.
l We also completed an update to the comprehensive plan, which was more than 10 years old.
l We created a North 29th Avenue Community Plan, outlining a planned community around the 35th Street/Tower Terrace Road. Building in that location is now occurring.
l Several years ago, the council approved a plan to attract industry — the shovel-ready Marion Enterprise Center, adjacent to the Marion airport. Our goal is to balance the tax income for Marion so property tax rates will better weather downturns.
l A citizen survey completed in 2011 shows the No. 1 issue was street repair. Marion has ongoing plans, but the cost of these repairs has been growing at an alarming rate. The local-option sales money has allowed Marion to make major achievements in upgrading the streets.
l Several parks have all new playground equipment and we added our first Splash Pad. The amphitheater project at Lowe Park, conceived from the Imagine 8 Project, will be a great addition by December.
l Lincoln View Square project has become a leader in the development along Seventh Avenue. This started as an update and expansion and has grown to bring CVS Pharmacy, Linn Area Credit Union, and Kum & Go.
I am proud of the achievements made in Marion. The school systems are one of the more important draws to this community. The city bond rating has increased.
Our fire department has a rating equal to cities three times our size. Our city is the safest in the area, thanks to diligent efforts by our police department. Marion is among the 10 fastest-growing cities in the state.
I will continue to work with fellow council members to keep this economic recovery drive alive. We balance our budget, with surplus, and work together for cost-effective governance.