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NL council candidates offer brief statements

NORTH LIBERTY–North Liberty voters will go to the polls Nov. 8 to elect three people to the North Liberty City Council. The terms of current council members Coleen Chipman, Terry Donahue and Chris Hoffman will expire in December 2011.
The City of North Liberty received petitions from all three incumbents hoping for re-election, as well as one additional candidate intending to run on the Nov. 8 ballot. Newcomer Matt Zacek has thrown his hat into the ring, leaving four candidates to vie for the three available seats.
The candidates read their own authored statements for airing on NLTV and on the City of North Liberty website at www.northlibertyiowa.org. The statements can also be read below. To learn more, the Johnson County League of Women Voters invites the public to a candidates’ forum at the North Liberty City Council Chambers, 3 Quail Creek Cr., on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m.

COLEEN CHIPMAN

Looking back four years ago when I first ran for city council, there were three issues that I felt were critical, making Highway 965 safe and accessible, addressing our infrastructure needs, and tabulating our housing inventory.
In those four years, we have completed phase I of the master plan for Highway 965. We added turning lanes at all of the major intersections. The next project will be updating the Scales Bend Road intersection with a combination of city and federal funds.
Infrastructure needs have been addressed by moving the city offices to the Epley Building off 965, which allowed the Police Department to move into the old city building. The firefighters have remodeled the old Police Department space and the Parks and Recreation Department built a new shop.
The council held joint meetings with city staff and planning and zoning. We looked at the current number of housing units, what is zoned and approved for single family and multifamily, and updated zoning in several areas of town.
If re-elected, I support the planning, designing and completing (as funding allows) of 965 all the way through North Liberty. I will follow through on capital improvement projects such as the library addition and completing the streets department expansion. I will see the annexation issue between North Liberty and Coralville resolved in a way that is best for North Liberty for the present and the future.
Four years ago, I stated that I have a vision of what North Liberty should be in 20, 30 years and that still holds true today. I believe in making decisions for what is best for ALL of North Liberty, not just the area I live in. Please vote for me in the upcoming city election on Nov. 8.

TERRY DONAHUE

First , I must thank the citizens for the privilege and honor in allowing me to serve this community as a city councilor for the past four years.
Over this period of time, we have seen a community grow into a small city of 13,000-plus persons. We have seen drastic changes in our current economic state of affairs that affect the essence of our daily life, not only in this city, but the nation in general. Our issues of yesterday are certainly not the issues of today. With that, persons who serve in public offices must be flexible and adapt to these changes in order to successfully serve all who live here.
My goals in order to accomplish this objective are:
• First and foremost, be a strong steward of taxpayers’ money to sustain city services at the most affordable cost,
• Promote and build productive public-private relationships to insure the growth of North Liberty,
• Support local small business/professional services development and find ways to assist them,
• Continue to critically review housing needs in order to provide what is needed by persons who want to live here,
• Engage the public in short and long-term strategic planning and problem solving,
• Work to continually develop North Liberty as a family-friendly community.
You have had a chance to see and hear my voting record on numerous issues as they have come before council. I would ask that you take into consideration my straight-forward attitude in doing the city’s business in addressing the needs of our citizens and community.
Finally, I ask you for your continued support in the upcoming city election.
Thank you.

CHRIS HOFFMAN

Hi, and thank you for taking the time to read my candidate statement. For those of you I haven’t met yet, my wife and I moved to North Liberty in 2002, and I have been serving as one of your five at-large councilors since 2007.
The past four years have gone by very quickly, and we have achieved a great deal as a city. Being a part of North Liberty’s history as a city councilor has been, in a word, awesome.
What started for me in 2007 as an opportunity to lend guidance and leadership in the development of our growing community has turned into a desire to nurture that same growth on a focused, and at times, difficult, trajectory.
If you have raised a teenager, (I think that experience may describe the amount of change our community is experiencing and the importance of patience) thoughtful dialogue and respectful discord are required to make good decisions. While I haven’t yet raised a teenager (my oldest is 4 and her sister was just born in August), I believe my record of consistency and patience has benefited North Liberty and helped it become a community you are proud to live in and be a part of.
Like the growth of children into adults, and more specifically our community’s amazing growth, there will be many more opportunities and challenges. I hope you are as excited about North Liberty’s future as I am. I hope, too, that you will take time in the coming weeks to listen, discuss, and participate in this upcoming election.
It has been a privilege serving as one of your five at-large city councilors. I feel fortunate to have earned your support four years ago and, with your vote, I look forward to helping shape our next four years.

MATT ZACEK

My name is Matt Zacek and I am running for North Liberty City Council. I am not running out of any feelings that the current council is necessarily doing a bad job. On the contrary, I think the council, mayor, and city manager have accomplished a lot in managing the growth of our city. I am running because all of my life I have felt an obligation to serve. Beginning on my 17th birthday, I served our country in the U.S. Army. Since then, I have served on various nonprofit boards and volunteer groups, most recently with the March of Dimes and the Iowa City Elks.
I do feel we need to focus on some key areas as we continue to grow.
We need to make sure we do the right things to support our continued growth in the areas of infrastructure, specifically the police, fire and transportation departments. I think there were some opportunities missed in the recent study on transportation that was presented to the council.
We also need to make sure we are attracting a diverse business group. I think we need to do everything we can to attract more retail shopping to the many strip malls that are currently under construction. It is great that we have so much service industry in our city, but we need some diversity to give all our citizens the ability to shop locally for all their needs.
I enjoy living in the North Liberty community and now it’s time for me to step forward and help make North Liberty an even better place to shop, work and live.
Please feel free to email me (zaceks1@mchsi.com ) your thoughts and concerns about how we can continue to grow North Liberty together.