Year in Review: New mayors, new job for governor - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Year in Review: New mayors, new job for governor

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    DECISION 2016: Complete election coverage and results for all local, state and national races, as well as up-to-date information about the candidates and political news.
     

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    DECISION 2016: Complete election coverage and results for all local, state and national races, as well as up-to-date information about the candidates and political news.

    More >>
WATERLOO (KWWL) -

365 days can seem like an eternity in politics.

So much can change so quickly... which is exactly what we saw happen this year in eastern Iowa and across the state.

In a year of political firsts, it's fitting 2016 started with history being made.

"I want to represent the entire city of Waterloo," said Quentin Hart who was sworn in as Waterloo's first black mayor on January 4th.

Every four years, Iowa becomes the stage for politics.

In February, Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz won the Iowa caucuses.

The setback proved to be minor for Donald Trump.

"We will go on to get the Republican nomination and go on to easily beat Hillary or Bernie or whoever the hell they throw up there," said Trump.

People continue to go round and round about the construction on University Avenue. Roundabouts remain a big topic in Cedar Falls and for new Mayor Jim Brown.

In June, a test for Waterloo's new mayor.

"I really think what it is is... we've really got a mayor in training," said Steve Schmitt, Waterloo city council member.

The city council rejected Mayor Hart's request for $1,400. The money would've been used by Hart to travel to a US conference of mayors in Indianapolis.

It's a request the council typically approves.

Days later, a big crowd turned out to share their frustrations about the divide between council members.

A former mayor showed his support for the current mayor.

"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 former Waterloo Mayor Tim Hurley.

In September, there was a big spotlight on Waterloo.

Three days after Police Chief Dan Trelka told his department that he was being asked to resign, Mayor Hart said Chief Trelka was instead, being assigned new responsibilities.

"I have decided that Dan Trelka is going to just focus on the Waterloo Police Department," said Mayor Hart.

The police department had come under fire for a series of lawsuits.

In one case, a teenager was paid to keep quiet about what happened in a settlement with the city.

Since the mayor and police chief shared the same stage to announce his new responsibilities in September, KWWL has asked repeatedly for a sit down interview with both men to talk about where Waterloo goes from here... but so far, they have not agreed on a time to sit down and answer our questions.

The biggest political story of the year -- nationally -- has a deep impact on Iowa's leadership.

After Donald Trump was elected president, he named longtime Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to be the US Ambassador to China.

If he's confirmed, that means Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will become the first woman to serve as Iowa's governor.

A year that starts with political history is ending with another first on the horizon.

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