Cityscape — August 2014
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Guest's Viewpoint

Have you ever wanted to reach up and just grab Mickey‘s big hand and say, “STOP…YOU’RE GOING TOO FAST…I HAVE TOO MUCH TO DO AND NOT ENOUGH TIME?”

As I gave thought to a theme for my last column I reflected: “How can this be? I just started! September 2013 was yesterday, not a year ago.”

My time with the Iowa League of Cities has been like that. Try as I might, I’ve never been able to convince Mickey to stop his clock hands for me. It has been such a privilege to serve, first on the Executive Board then as President of this tremendous organization. There are days that I’ve just been amazed at the scope of what this organization can accomplish. Then I realize that’s due to the wide variety of cities the League represents. The League has assembled an amazing playbook of resources for cities of all sizes – resources I feel cities need to utilize more. I encourage cities to check in frequently with the League staff when you’re facing an obstacle or an opportunity and are debating your next step. In my experience, if the League doesn’t have sound advice to give, they are in regular conversation with those that do, or they are willing to wade in and explore the issue with you.

Some of our legislative “wins” this year – abandoned school properties, the rural water compromise and landfill acceptance of Emerald Ash Borer-infested trees -- are perfect examples of the League wading in to explore an issue when a League member called in with a question or an issue.

For many of us, we see evidence of this type of exploration in the form of a League survey. I can’t tell you how vital your response to League surveys are. When taking an issue to a legislator or state agency, the ability to provide quantifiable data and real-world experiences to support our position is monumentally important. I want to personally thank you for taking the time to support the League’s efforts in this way.

I also want to thank you for being so supportive of your fellow local officials. Every League event I attend reinforces the message that while each city will always be unique, cities are stronger when we are networked together. I feel very fortunate to have built such an incredible network of colleagues and friends through my participation with the League. You have provided me with inspiration, alternative viewpoints and resources for the challenges my city faces in the future. I aspire to continue to pay that gift forward. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your League President

Waterloo Mayor Buck Clark