Cityscape January 2014 : Page 4

Director's Viewpoint l Welcome inston Churchill is reported to have observed that “Americans will always do the right thing — after exhausting all the alternatives.” I am certain that at the time he was expressing his frustration with America’s unwill-ingness to become involved in the European war that was to become World War II. But Sir Winston was also more insightful – American democracy is often slowing, messy and more than a little inefficient, but it is by far the best system of gov -ernment ever devised. If you are a newly elected city official, I want to congratulate you and welcome you to the most personal level of democracy – city government. You were elected by your fellow citizens, many of whom know personally. That is not something that state and federal office holders can say. Local democracy is far more personal. Perhaps that is the reason that local elected officials and local governments enjoy a much higher approval rating than the other two levels. If you don’t get it right, your neighbors will let you know in the coffee shop, the grocery store and even over the fence. My personal experience is that most people will accept even decisions that don't go their way, just as long as they had fair hearing. The League's general counsel, Bruce Bergman, is fond of saying that process is the product that city government pro -vides. As the long-time city attorney for the city of Des Moines, Bruce understands clearly that shortcuts in governance frequently come back to haunt you and breed distrust of city hall. As your veteran city officials can attest, over the next year you will face a daunting task in learning to govern as mayor and council, directing the multifaceted organization that is the city, learning an entire new financial system and being intro -duced to the myriad of rules and regulations that cities have come to operate under. The pages that follow in this special edition of Cityscape magazine are intended to give you the information you need to begin succeeding as a city office holder and identify the resources that are available to you. In addition, we will publish a series of articles over the next several is-sues to continue assisting you in governing your community. As a newly elected city official, I believe you will find the service you provide to be honorable, rewarding and valuable. Not everyone will thank you, but enough will. On behalf of the League's Officers and Executive Board, your League staff and myself -congratulations to all who were elected and thank you for your service. All of us at the League are here to help. I close with another quote I am especially fond of that was provided by John Mardis, the former mayor of Evansdale and a League Hall of Fame member: “Don’t take it personally – even when it’s meant personally!” Executive Director Alan Kemp W Alan Kemp | Executive Director | Iowa League of Cities EXECUTIVE BOARD President: Buck Clark, Mayor, Waterloo, (319) 291-4301 l President-elect: Warren Woods, Mayor, Creston, (641) 782-2000 Immediate Past President: Reynold Peterson, Mayor, Spencer, (712) 580-7200 l Past President: Kris Gulick, Council Member, Cedar Rapids, (319) 286-5051 Past President: Ruth Randleman, Mayor, Carlisle, (515) 989-3224 DIRECTORS Patty Anderson, City Clerk/Administrator, Hartley, (712) 928-2240 l Lori Brown, City Clerk, Wilton, (563) 732-2115 l Ann Campbell, Mayor, Ames, (515) 239-5105 l Kay Cmelik , City Clerk/Finance Officer, Grinnell, (641) 236-2600 l Kim Downs, City Administrator, Hiawatha, (319) 393-1515 Jim Erb, Mayor, Charles City, (641) 257-6300 | Jim Ferneau, City Administrator, Burlington, (319) 753-8124 l Clint Fichter, City Manager, Avoca, (712) 343-2424 l Linda Gaul, City Clerk, Earlville, (563) 923-3365 l Gregg Mandsager, City Administrator/Clerk, Muscatine, (563) 264-1550 | Scott Peterson, City Administrator/Clerk, Lake View, (712) 657-2634 | Adam Schweers, Mayor, Carroll, (712) 792-1000 l Matt Walsh, Mayor, Council Bluffs, (712) 328-4616 LEAGUE STAFF Elisabeth Bender, Administrative Assistant l Bruce E. Bergman, General Counsel l Shannon Busby, Office Manager l Bethany Crile, Com-munications Coordinator l Aric Cudnohosky, Database Administrator l Alison R. Deiter, Accountant l Kim Gannon, Claims Examiner l Monica Blay, Administrative Assistant l Jeff Hovey, Director of Risk Services l Matt Jackson, Claims Manager | Cindy Kendall, Extension Program Specialist l Tim Kirgan, Marketing Manager l Alan Kemp, Executive Director | Jenny McKenzie, Medical-Only Claims Examiner l Dustin Miller, Director of Government Affairs l Dana Monosmith, Controller l Erin Mullenix, Research and Fiscal Analyst | Ed Morrison, Loss Control Representative l Ryan Pealer, Network Administrator Heather Roberts, Director of Information Services l Dean Schade, Senior Loss Control Representative l Mickey Shields, Assistant Director of Membership Services l Ron Sinnwell, Loss Control Coordinator l Terry Timmins, General Counsel l Mark Tomb, Director of Membership Services l Amanda Werner, Administrative Assistant l Katie Wheeler, Graphic Designer | Chuck Williams, R.N., Senior Claims Examiner l Tiffani Williamson, Accounting Assistant 4 Cityscape January 2014

Director's Viewpoint

Alan Kemp

Welcome<br /> <br /> Winston Churchill is reported to have observed that “Americans will always do the right thing — after exhausting all the alternatives.” I am certain that at the time he was expressing his frustration with America’s unwillingness to become involved in the European war that was to become World War II. But Sir Winston was also more insightful – American democracy is often slowing, messy and more than a little inefficient, but it is by far the best system of government ever devised.<br /> <br /> If you are a newly elected city official, I want to congratulate you and welcome you to the most personal level of democracy – city government. You were elected by your fellow citizens, many of whom you know personally. That is not something state and federal office holders can say. Local democracy is far more personal. Perhaps that is the reason local elected officials and local governments enjoy a much higher approval rating than the other two levels. If you don’t get it right, your neighbors will let you know in the coffee shop, the grocery store and even over the fence. My personal experience is most people will accept decisions, even ones that don't go their way, just as long as they had a fair hearing.<br /> <br /> The League's general counsel Bruce Bergman is fond of saying that process is the product that city government provides. As the long-time city attorney for the city of Des Moines, Bruce understood clearly that shortcuts in governance frequently come back to haunt you and breed distrust of city hall.<br /> <br /> As your veteran city officials can attest, over the next year, you will face a daunting task in learning to govern as mayor and council, directing the multifaceted organization that is the city, learning an entire new financial system and being introduced to the myriad of rules and regulations that cities have come to operate under. The pages that follow in this special edition of Cityscape are intended to give you the information you need to begin succeeding as a city office holder and identify the resources that are available to you. In addition, we will publish a series of articles over the next several editions to continue assisting you in governing your community.<br /> <br /> As a newly elected city official, I believe you will find the service you provide to be honorable, rewarding and valuable. Not everyone will thank you, but enough will. On behalf of the League's Officers and Executive Board, your League staff and myself - congratulations to all who were elected and thank you for your service. All of us at the League are here to help.<br /> <br /> I close with the other quote I am especially fond of that was provided by John Mardis, the former mayor of Evansdale and a League Hall of Fame member – “Don’t take it personally – even when it’s meant personally!”<br /> <br /> Executive Director Alan Kemp

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