Former UI professor Throgmorton enters Iowa City City Council race

BY ARIANA WITT | JUNE 09, 2011 7:20 AM

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The second candidate to announce a bid for city council this year says he wants to ease growing pains that stem from demographic shifts on the Southeast side.

Former University of Iowa professor Jim Throgmorton announced Wednesday he’s running for City Council in District C. Former Mayor Regenia Bailey is not running for re-election in the district.

Throgmorton retired from the UI Department of Urban and Regional planning last year. He previously served on the council for just over two years in the mid-90’s but said this time he wants to serve a full four years. Throgmorton said Iowa City is changing in a way that can’t be ignored.

“We’re lucky to be living in a lovely city,” Throgmorton said. “But we will be facing some significant challenges over the coming years. I believe my combination of experience, knowledge, skills and vision can help us respond in a way that enables us to make it an even better place.”

Throgmorton said part of his campaign focus will be on fostering healthy social interactions across Iowa City. Though he’s lived on the North side for 16 years, Throgmorton said he’d like to see more discussions regarding the Southeast side by city councilors.

“I think there’s social tension having to do with the arrival of new people to the city,” he told The Daily Iowan. “But I think what they bring to the city is energy, a lot of good energy we need to build on and work our way through social tensions in a productive way.”

Dan Tallon, a former UI student, is also running for the District C seat. Tallon also ran in 2009, when he advanced out of the primary but lost the general election.

Tallon told The Daily Iowan gameday vending and affordable housing are two of his priorities.

“It would not be hard to provide options to builders that would reward building affordable houses and encourage the practice not only in one community, but in every area of the city,” Tallon said.

Throgmorton said he and Tallon have been in communication for the last two weeks and are understanding of one another’s differing concerns.

Sixty-six-year-old Throgmorton recently attended the Tate High School graduation, something Sue Freeman, the director of the Broadway Neighborhood Center, said speaks to his dedication to Southeast side.

“We should want to talk about and acknowledge that some of those in the group that graduated had struggles getting there and I think Jim recognizes that,” Freeman said.

Along with interaction across Iowa City, Throgmorton said he would also like to see development on the River Front Crossing.

“What I really want to see is a healthy and thriving downtown, one we can connect to the river crossing,” he said. “I want to do everything I can to enhance that potential.”

Johnson County Supervisor Rod Sullivan, who’s known Throgmorton since the 1990s, said his knowledge of planning in city settings could help his chances in the election.

“He knows the topic better than anybody,” Sullivan said. “It’s what he taught for so many years.”

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