Tomorrow citizens of Cedar Rapids will choose our next mayor and three council seats. I am supporting Brian Fagan for mayor, because he has the leadership, understanding, and passion Cedar Rapids needs.

Brian has exhibited strong leadership as an at-large council member the past four years. He stepped up during the flood, taking charge as the voice for Cedar Rapids, and has represented our city positively and professionally to visitors, national media, and dignitaries. As exhibited in his positive, articulate campaign, he stands by his decisions and has results to back them up.

Brian Fagan is the only candidate who has demonstrated to me a real understanding of the complexities at hand with the flood recovery and current city operations. This should be expected as he’s the only candidate currently on the council who has been involved with the city’s post-flood operations and decisions for moving forward. He understands the importance of quality of life (arts, culture, recreation, etc.) to job growth and retention. Brian has given a sensible, honest response to every contested issue brought to him by citizens and his opponents Ron Corbett and P.T. Larson.

One major issue of contention has been the city’s substantial use of “out-of-town consultants” since the flood. The firms with the largest pay out from the city have been New York-based Adjusters International, and Watertown, MA-based Sasaki Associates. (Gazette 9/20/09) Additionally, locally-based OPN Architects is now playing a major role in future city facilities planning.

Adjusters International was hired to assist the city with maximizing financial recovery from insurance claims and FEMA grants. So far an additional $75 million has been secured for rebuilding of city facilities. Sasaki Associates was actually hired one month before the flood to design a riverfront redevelopment plan for the city. Their task quickly changed to developing a redevelopment and reinvestment plan for flood-ravished areas, through an extensive public participation process. We now have a comprehensive action plan for redevelopment and community improvements over the next ten to fifteen years.

Finally Cedar Rapids, more than ever before, needs a leader who loves this city – one who’s engaged in its history and passionate for its future. Brian Fagan is that candidate. He is forward-thinking, enthusiastic, and “committed to building one great Cedar Rapids.” Please support Brian Fagan for mayor on November 3, for the future of Cedar Rapids.