KWWL sits down with Cedar Rapids mayoral candidates - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

KWWL sits down with Cedar Rapids mayoral candidates

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One week from today Cedar Rapids will vote for it's new mayor and eight candidates are on the ballot. 

KWWL sat down with four of the candidates today and plans on meeting with the remaining candidates on Wednesday. 

Today we spoke with Brad Hart, Gary Hinzman, Scott E. Olson and Jorel Robinson. 

We asked the candidates about issues important to Cedar Rapids from flood protection to the controversial speed cameras. 

Only about half of the master plan for flood protection is paid for right now. 

 "We will finish it and it's just what is that funding mechanism and the length of time will depend on our success with the federal government," says Scott Olson, who currently serves on the city council. 

Former police chief Gary Hinzman says, "We're gonna look in some places that haven't been looked at before, different departments within the federal government, commerce, human services, agriculture because they have money that will help with this flood control as well."

Paying for the protection is on Brad Hart's mind too. 
"We'll need to go back to the state and ask them to let us keep an additional amount of our sales tax to continue to pay for the flood protection," he says. 

"It's foolish to sit around and wait on one plan which is for the federal government to shake some funds loose for us. I think it makes sense for us to start working at home to try and come up with ideas as a city as to what we can do privately and as a city to get those walls up," says Jorel Robinson. 

Another hot topic in the city is the possibility of a casino. 

"62% of the voters in Linn County said they wanted to have a casino so I would welcome one if we could have a casino but I don't think it would be the end of the world if we don't get a casino this time," says Hart. 

"I think it's 50/50 that we'll get a license and if we do, great, if we don't then we need to move on in my personal opinion," Olson told us.  

"I have to stand with the voters of Linn County, they approved a casino," says Hinzman. 

In regards to speed cameras, Robinson says he is the only candidate speaking out against them. 

"I am the only candidate who is firmly against the cameras and I find them to be based on what I've read and I'm no legal scholar but, and I think that's why they're in court now is to be unlawful," he says. 

"I'm fine with the speed cameras especially if it's really a safety issue," Hart told us. 

 "I support them for safety purposes it's not a revenue thing," Olson says. 

Tomorrow night we will post a second story involving the remaining candidates. 


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