COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA (KMTV) — Tuesday is election day for Council Bluffs and with Roger Sandau and Melissa Head choosing not to run both at-large seats are open with four possible candidates.
One area where everyone seems to agree is Council Bluffs needs to repair its streets with too many potholes around town.
Longtime firefighter Steve Gorman wants to study it more.
“What are we doing differently? Is it the mix of our concrete, is it something we’re putting on the roads that is causing them to deteriorate and our curbs to deteriorate, is it maintenance? That’s something we need to study before we make a big leap like that,” said Gorman, who also worked as an electrician as well as the fire department.
Joe Don Hunter is hoping to chip away at the problem, one problematic street at a time.
“I think we just need to take a look at our budget and see where we need to apply some of these funds, pick up a smaller percentage,” said Hunter.
While Director of the Boys & Girls Club Chris Peterson wants to plug away at fixing streets, he also thinks there is room to make cuts in the city budget, helping out taxpayers.
“Coming from the nonprofit world, I certainly know about building a budget and executing a budget, so it’s taking a harder look at some of our departments to make sure we’re doing our due diligence,” said Peterson, who finished second in the primary.
As for Lindsey Danielsen, who served for eight years on the planning commission, she’s hoping to add more middle-tier housing in Council Bluffs.
“Look for investors and then constantly look at our comprehensive plan for the city and rezone if necessary to get those developments up,” said Danielsen.
That's something Hunter, a real estate agent, agrees with.
“You get more opportunities in those middle price points. You just create more fluidity in the market, you give people more opportunities to move around,” said Hunter, who also is a substitute teacher.
It's tough to drive through Council Bluffs without noticing a large number of homeless people. Gorman says he’s seen it rise for two decades and wants the city to reach out and help them more.
“The day that you’re homeless is a traumatic event and we need to start addressing and working towards a long-term solution,” said Gorman.
Danielsen, who’s worked in a number of jobs in the medical field, wants to find creative solutions and possibly add a city-wide mental health program.
“Getting a community rehabilitation program set up, maybe partnering with some businesses to see what we can do, basically solving the issue, not just putting a bandaid on the problem,” said Danielsen.
Finally, multiple candidates said they want to keep the younger generations in Council Bluffs after high school with brain drain affecting the city like many Midwestern communities.
Peterson wants the city to work with nonprofits and schools to show teens all the job possibilities the city can offer.
“Whether they go in the job force or go to college, they want to come back and contribute back to the city that they grew up in,” said Peterson.
Residents in Council Bluffs can pick two of the four candidates on the ballot.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 pm.