Waterloo residents get heated expressing frustration to city cou - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo residents get heated expressing frustration to city council

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Dozens of Waterloo residents voiced their frustrations at the lack of teamwork among city council and the mayor at Monday's meeting.

The reactions coming on the heals of city council voting down Mayor Hart's travel request for a national mayor's conference last week and a comment by Councilman Steve Schmitt about the new mayor's ability to fulfill his job title.

"I really think what it is is we've got a mayor in training. If you look at our mayor, he has no business experience. He has no budget experience. That is not where he comes from," said Councilman Schmitt in a recent KWWL interview.

 The first meeting since the comment, Monday's meeting was standing room only.

 For more than an hour, members of the Waterloo community voiced their concerns and some their embarrassment for the recent divide between the council.

 Some of the comments included, "I was totally embarrassed."

 "Knock it off. We need unity." 

"Hear about the kind of foolishness that has been reflected here."

 One resident point blank asking Councilman Schmitt if he supported Mayor Hart. "Is that for me? Yes, absolutely I do," said Schmitt.

 The resident responded, "If you are saying yes, your actions need to reflect that."

  Even former Waterloo Mayor Tim Hurley showing his support.

  "I came in as a mayor in training and I left in January 2010 as a mayor in training. Do us proud, when you leave office Mayor Hart, still be a mayor in training," said Hurley.

  After hearing the heated comments Schmitt along with Councilmen Lind and Jacobs who also voted down the mayor's travel request responded.

  "Really disheartened how this has been so blown out of proportion. So personalized. So just completely misrepresented. . .but I am just really sorry that it happened," said Schmitt.

  "We don't have time for games. We don't have time for this. I appreciate everybody that is here, but if we could turn that energy into working together for a change," said Councilman Bruce Jacobs.

  Mayor Hart ending the meeting saying he was touched by the show of support.

  "It was overwhelming, just thankful. People elected me to a job, they are holding me accountable and they are holding the council accountable as well," said Mayor Hart following the meeting.

   The money raised by community residents on GoFundMe to pay for the expenses to the conference Mayor Hart had requested be paid by the city, was also presented at the meeting.

    At this time it is unclear if Mayor Hart can accept the money. Extra money raised by the campaign will be donated to House of Hope.

   Mayor Hart attended the conference over the weekend and says he has brought back lots of ideas for the city.


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