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City Council election: Terry Dickens pushes safety

BY NICOLE KARLIS | OCTOBER 01, 2009 7:20 AM

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The Pedestrian Mall wasn’t always as noisy at night.

Terry Dickens has watched the iconic downtown walkway develop over the past 30 years.
And that development has brought new problems, he said.

Born and raised in Iowa City, Dickens, 54, wants to leverage his deep roots in the community to win a spot on the Iowa City City Council.

“I’ve lived here my whole life and have seen what it’s been and what it could be,” he said. “We can learn from the past, and hopefully, we don’t make the same mistakes.”

Dickens co-owns the family business Herteen & Stocker Jewelers, 101 S. Dubuque St., which has served as a downtown fixture since 1947.

In his decades here, he has also served on the Iowa City Booster Club, Rotary Club, and the Downtown Retail Branding Committee.

Dickens said he first considered running for City Council about 12 years ago after residents asked him to join the race. But with kids still in high school, he opted against it.

Now that his children are married and out of the house, it’s the perfect time for a campaign, he said.
He announced his campaign plans in May with his platform focusing on public safety, neighborhood development, and keeping Iowa City an attractive community for retirees.

He stressed the immediate need for adequate staffing of the Police and Fire Departments.

“We need to take care of our basic services, we need to take care of the Police and Fire Department now,” the Regina High graduate said.

Finding a new city manager should also be a priority for the next group of councilors, he said.

“That can determine what direction the city is moving,” he said.

The support from Iowa City residents so far has been humbling, Dickens said.

“It’s outstanding the number of people who have called, written, or just want a sign in their yard,” he said. “It’s flattering that you have so many people excited about your running.”

Iowa City resident and longtime friend Bill Brandt said Dickens has a true desire to better the community.

“Terry’s honesty and genuine concern for Iowa City is the reason I choose to back Terry,” said Brandt, Dickens’ brother-in-law and campaign manager.

Though Dickens is busy selling jewelry and campaigning six days a week, he said, he still tries to make time for family and tending his acre-and-a-half yard on his newly remodeled house on the outskirts of Iowa City.

The primary election is scheduled for Oct. 6, when one at-large candidate will be voted out of the race, leaving four hopefuls running for the two available seats. Early voting is available at the Auditor’s Office, 913 S. Dubuque St., 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekdays. Satellite voting is available at the UI Hospitals and Clinics first-floor atrium lobby, Elevator I, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and at the Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St., 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday and noon-5 p.m. Oct. 4.


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