Daunting task awaits for new Cedar Rapids position - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Daunting task awaits for new Cedar Rapids position

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by Bryan Goettel

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - The city of Cedar Rapids has created a new position to help continue the flood recovery process there.

Monday night, the public got the chance to meet with the six top candidates for the new flood recovery director position.

Thirty-one people applied for the job. The selection committee has it down to six. Monday, they wanted input from the public, giving them the chance to meet one-on-one with the finalists.

A year later, progress has been made in Cedar Rapids, but clearly the road to recovery remains long. Many people are frustrated. Much of the anger gets directed at city leaders. So why would somebody want the daunting title of flood recovery director?

"Yeah, it's kinda like why would somebody want to be President of the United States?" John Schick, who attended Monday's reception, joked.

"There's going to be disagreement going through a flood recovery," candidate Greg Eyerly said. "That's okay. That's healthy. That's democracy."

Monday night, it was one of the many questions the six finalists for the position were asked by members of the public at the temporary city hall.

"There is a need to have a point person for the flood recovery efforts," city human resources director Connie Huber said.

While each candidate has his or her own ideas, one thing about the job they seemed to agree on.

"We need to get that money into the city so we can do things with it," Eyerly said.

The city is hopeful that having one person driving the bus can make a big difference.

"When you add these huge projects and the huge bureaucracy that is laid on you when you're trying to recover and rebuild you need another person to come in and oversee these things," candidate Sara Jones said. 

Schick came Monday to meet with the candidates. He has many questions and concerns. But when asked what's he's looking for from the person who gets the job, he boiled it down to one simple thing.

"Action," Schick said. "Action, I think that there have to be some ways to move this along."

It's not known how long the flood recovery director will remain in place. The position will be re-evaluated on a year-by-year basis.

The Cedar Rapids City Council is expected to approve the final candidate at the end of the month.

The flood recovery director is expected to begin work in late July or early August.

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel 

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