North Liberty will soon be without a mayor - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

North Liberty will soon be without a mayor

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NORTH LIBERTY (KWWL) -

North Liberty Mayor Amy Nielsen was recently elected as a state representative for House District 77. Nielsen must leave her role as mayor by January 9th, leaving the job vacant.

The City Council must make a decision 40 days after Nielsen resigns whether to appoint a new mayor or open a special election.

"More than likely we're going to end up having a special election. I don't know what would prevent that at this point, really," Nielsen said, still unsure of the date that she'll sign off as mayor.

If the City Council were to appoint a mayor, there is a 14 day period where community signatures can be gathered to force a special election.

That's what Matthew Pollock, North Liberty, intends to do.

"It's democracy. Our people deserve a voice. We shouldn't be able to just pick someone to be the mayor. I believe everyone should have the opportunity to go out and vote for who they think best represents them as a people," Pollock said.

The last time North Liberty had a regular city election was but in 2013; 15% of voter turnout of that election has to be collected in signatures which adds up to only 26 signatures. Pollock calls that just a few hours of work to achieve.

Looking ahead, Nielsen said the continued growth of the town is one of the biggest issues a new mayor will face. The town has seen a 37% population increase in the last five years.

"It's always going to be about the growth, just different ways that we need to be managing it," she said.

Pollock said he thinks that continuing to grow the town is important but to do so in an environmentally friendly way, citing the recent soil quality restoration project.

"My big goal is sustainable growth and that's from everyone having the opportunity for liveable wages and then how it impacts the environment," Pollock said. "How we can grow as a community but still stay a small, tight-knit community."

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