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Candidate relaxed about city debt

BY MEGAN SANCHEZ | OCTOBER 14, 2013 5:00 AM

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Among the eight candidates campaigning for a chance to take on city issues is a woman who said she is not solely focused on taking drastic measures when it comes to Coralville’s financial troubles.

After running an unsuccessful campaign in 2011, Laurie Goodrich, 58, is attempting to earn a City Council seat with a platform emphasizing community involvement, sensible debt reduction, sustainable services and resources, and progressive real-estate development.

Despite a number of bond rating downgrades given by Moody’s Investors Service — the latest coming in June — and the then-nearly $279 million debt — the third highest in the state — the 30-year resident said she is not worried.

“It’s going to be OK,” she said. “We’re in the thick of it right now, but I think we need to relax a little bit [by] giving the staff another four years to work out of this.”

After studying reports given to the city by financial-analysis organizations, she said she will use past criticism to move on the city’s work on debt reduction.

“[We will] go into a debt management policy to be used as a guideline for moving forward,” she said.

Goodrich, a self-described active community member, has worked on the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission since 2009, served on the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, and attends City Council meetings and work sessions regularly.

Her hope is to get the entire Coralville community just as involved as she is.

“I continue to meet with residents, business owners, and city employees to search out an authentic view of things that are going well in Coralville and some of the challenges our community faces,” she said.

Similar to many area organizations, Goodrich said she values the idea of sustainability and plans to improve Coralville’s well-water system and provide an alternative option to yard waste bags.

Work on projects such as a new Kirkwood Regional Center and the controversial Iowa River Landing development exemplify the type of growth she will advocate for.

Serving as a part-time administrative assistant exposed her to several areas of city government and helped her understand city logistics.

Mayor Jim Fausett, who will leave his longtime position on Dec. 31, said her City Hall experience is a strength.

“She understands what we have been doing over the years, and she has been very active in Coralville,” he said.

Former coworker Terry Kaeding called Goodrich someone who can reach all citizens, “from college students to senior citizens.”

Kaeding said Goodrich feels strongly about continuing to improve upon the city’s quality of life.

In watching the city develop over the years, through several challenges, Goodrich said, she is ready to take her initiatives to the next level.

“I think we had a hard time in the economy in the last two years, and I think the flood was a setback, but I really believe we are moving forward,” she said.


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