Waterloo City Council forum: One-stop shop for voters - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo City Council forum: One-stop shop for voters

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Voters experienced something rare today, getting to see every city council candidate in the same place at the same time. Eight people are vying for four seats on the city council and today, all eight met for a forum put on by the Waterloo Rotary Club.

Tom Lind is running for re-election against Sharon Juon, while Tom Powers is trying to keep his seat in Ward 1, running against Margaret Klein.

Pat Morrissey is up for re-election against April Leadley in Ward 3 while two new candidates are running for the Ward 5 seat, opening up at the end of the year. Cody Leistikow and Chris Shimp are both on the ballot for Ward 5.

Voters turned in 25 written questions or comments for the candidates prior to the forum held at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center. The candidates only got to three questions before running out of time. The moderator, Bob Manning read questions from the voters and allowed candidates a minute and a half to answer them.

One statement from a voter read, "Some of the city council members almost blew the deal with the new owner of the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center." The convention center's sale was a hot topic.

"Several things came up today that were not factual like the vote of this building," said Tom Lind, in regards to the sale of the convention center. "I didn't vote against this building, I simply wanted more information before I voted on this building."

Lind's opponent Sharon Juon says she doesn't like how the deal was handled.

"I'm honestly very embarrassed by how the whole process of selling the convention center and the hotel went about," said Juon. "It turned out the right way, but how we got there was pretty embarrassing." 

The forum also covered taxes and the budget.

"I feel that the taxes are a barrier to growth and development," said Klein.

"Keep a watchful eye on the taxes, don't be raising them out there too far and reduce as we can incrementally," said Powers.

"I want to grow the base and again I think the civility comes into play that I will treat everyone with respect and in a civil manner," said Juon. 

"We have to get this tax problem under control, if we get the tax problem under control jobs come, businesses come and good things come," said Lind. "But we have to start there, we can't just grow our way out of this problem." 

Overall, voters say they want someone who is pro-Waterloo and someone who acts in a professional way to represent them.

Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart is also on the ballot. He's running unopposed for a second, two-year term.

Election day is November 7th.

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