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Incumbent hoping for round two in council

BY MEGAN SANCHEZ | OCTOBER 25, 2013 5:00 AM

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Susan Mims is ready for round two as a city councilor, hoping to serve Iowa City for another four years.

The 56-year-old is running for re-election to the Iowa City City Council as an at-large seat against three other candidates.

Mims said she wants to use her experience and knowledge of city logistics to encourage growth in fiscal responsibility. She said the city faces a possible yearly $5 million reduction in revenue because of changes made by the state Legislature.

“The changes that the state Legislature has made in property-tax reform could potentially have a negative impact,” she said. “Being very judicious and efficient with our resources is going to be critically important.”

Wendy Ford, Iowa City’s economic coordinator, also agreed the city will need to be cautious with finances.

“I think when our resources for assisting in economic development projects are tighter, then it’s important for us to be all the more [careful] for decisions of how to spend the money,” she said. “Iowa City has been very judicious in terms of economic development, and that will continue.”

Mims said she worries if the city loses money out of its revenue stream, it will have to cut services.

“We might have to lobby the Legislature to allow us different ways of raising revenues than what we currently are able to do,” she said. “We have to keep our eye on this all the time.”

Mims said she is also dedicated to creating more jobs in the community — but not just any type of job.

“They need to be a variety of jobs,” she said. “Not just the willy-nilly high wage jobs but jobs that are decent paying for less-skilled people.”

Mims also emphasized her knowledge from being on the council as a strength. She said it is critical for voters to note that of the city councilors not up for re-election, three are in their first term.

“Let’s say for example the city elected three of the newcomers to the council,” she said. “Basically, you would have six people in their first term and one person in their second. I think that’s way too much inexperience.”

Mims said she is a strong supporter of more diversity initiatives, and the idea really hits home for her.

“My husband is African-American, and we raised four biracial children,” she said. “Those are things that, hopefully, are important to everybody and are really personal for me.”

Her husband, Fred Mims, said it has been “pretty easy” to support his wife in these endeavors.

“It’s not a problem supporting someone who is dedicated and knowledgeable,” he said. “I am very proud of her for having an understanding and being able to articulate [diversity] to other people that she meets.”

Along with the City Council election on Nov. 5, the 21-ordinance is up for debate. Mims said she supports keeping the policy intact.

“I think it has made downtown safer for both those under 21 and those over,” she said. “We’ve really made an effort to have opportunities for students that are not just focused on drinking. We certainly have more to do, but I think we will continue to make progress on that.”

Mims said overall, she wants to be re-elected so she can continue the work she has started.

“I really enjoy what I am doing,” she said. “I think there’s a lot more important issues that we need to address, and I’ve got the time, and I believe I have the skills.”


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