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Coralville candidates discuss a variety of issues

BY REBECCA MORIN | OCTOBER 17, 2013 5:00 AM

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As Coralville City Council candidates took the stage Wednesday evening, discussions ranging from regional interactions to property taxes were brought to light.

The forum was hosted by the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts with an opportunity for citizens and candidates to voice their concerns on a number of city issues.

All of the four mayoral candidates were present at the forum, as well as the eight City Council candidates. Coralville residents will vote on Nov. 5.

Citizen concerns on whether home-owner property taxes and commercial property taxes would stay the same brought a range of answers from the candidates. Responses included that the increase came from state Legislature to opposition to commercial taxes rising to candidates unsure of how the process worked.

“I’m still trying to understand how it works,” City Council candidate Laurie Goodrich said. “The one thing I do know is there is a sense of property taxes going up, and a the value of homes are better, and we are living in an area where we are prospering.”

David Petsel expressed his opposition to outside sources on the campaigns during the time the candidates were allotted time to address any issues.

The Iowa Chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a national group, had previously aimed to inform Coralville citizens about what it labeled a “debt crisis.”

Not all candidates believe its involvement will have a positive effect on the elections.

“I believe we can get past all this, but I got to address about everything about the outside groups,” Petsel said. “Outside groups should not be in this at all; there is no part of me not doing this for the city of Coralville, and I want to be another voice of reason.”

One candidate shared the same sentiment in regards to outside groups.

“The sky is not falling,” candidate John Weber said. “I’m looking at all the good things the present council [is] doing. [I] don’t think outside groups understand what Coralville pride is, what it’s all about. There’s just a can-do attitude around here, and I’m ready to take on naysayers. Get in stride with Coralville pride.”

Although many topics centered around solutions on the roughly $279 million in outstanding debt, one mayoral candidate would have liked to go more in depth on job creation and discrimination in the workplace.

“We haven’t touched about the economy, we haven’t touched about job creation, we haven’t touched on a lot of things that I really wanted to do,” said Mayoral Candidate David Fesler. “I got four laws from Minnesota that work in state and federal court that would help on discrimination laws.”


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