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Mount Vernon City Council: Moe Richardson
October 28, 2013

• Age: 78

• Education/military service: Roosevelt High School in Des Moines; Drake University, Des Moines - undergraduate degree in economics

• Occupation: Real Estate Broker in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Mount Vernon - 39 years

• Family: Sarah Hedges Richardson, English teacher at MVHS; Annabelle Richardson Apley, 37, Los Angeles; Sam Richardson, 36, Chicago.

• Community involvement/elected service: Board of Directors of Theatre Cedar Rapids, 3 years; Real Estate manager for Theatre Cedar Rapids Board of Trustees, 10 years; Elder, Trustee, Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids, 5 years; Rotary Cedar Rapids, 15 years; School Improvement Advisory Committee for MVCSD, 1 year; Chairman of Board of Adjustment in Mount Vernon, 2 years.

Why are you running for a position on the Mount Vernon City Council?

I enjoy the community I live in and am interested in helping to improve it and serve in a leadership role.

What is the role of the city council?

To listen to constituents' concerns, ethically and fiscally move the city forward, and legislate policy.

What experiences/background would make you a good city council member?

United States Marine Corps Officer leadership training and 39 years of real estate sales and management.

What are top three strengths of the City of Mount Vernon, and how should the city capitalize on those strengths?

Mount Vernon is home to a nationally known, historically registered college, Cornell, that is the cornerstone of the community. It also boasts an enviable public school system that is well known across the state in all educational circles.

Further, Mount Vernon is proud to be one of the "ten best small towns" in America with historic charm mixed with a sophisticated, progressive population of doers and thinkers.

What are the top three biggest challenges facing the City of Mount Vernon and how should they be addressed?

Continuing to perpetuate the "small-town-with-a-big-punch" distinction while trying hard at the same time to keep our quiet quality roots. Committing to being fiscally responsible and not take on projects that negatively affect our budget income potential. Encouraging people with differing viewpoints to feel comfortable voicing them to the council, and then, in turn, respect and listen to their issues/complaints without bias or judgment, thus maintaining a congenial, approachable forum for all.

What should the top three budget priorities be for the City of Mount Vernon?

Maintain, and improve where necessary, current infrastructure of sewer, water, and streets. Continue to research, study, and poll constituents about moving forward on the idea of building a new community center (with or without a pool) or remodeling the present First Street Community Center (former high/middle school). Offer a variety of incentives to encourage builder/developer creation of platted, residential lots.

Often times council members have a niche - or an expertise - they bring to city government. What's yours?

I am confident that I have the ability to manage groups of people in order to accomplish goals for the common good. I am a listener. I have an aesthetic eye for detail.

What's your position on the proposed Mount Vernon community/wellness center?

I think it's a good idea if the city can afford it, and if Cornell College and its students will also embrace the idea.

What should be done, if anything, to resolve sharing issues between the Mount Vernon and Lisbon police departments?

I understand that an effort for sharing services between the two towns was made in good faith and it appears the city of Lisbon doesn't want to move forward with Mount Vernon's proposal.

If elected, what actions, if any should the city council take immediately?

I believe the council should move the police department to the old fire station on Main Street because they need more room, in turn making available space in the current City Hall for other city business such as the Parks and Recreation Department.

Are you supporting either of the candidates for mayor, or any other candidates for city council? Who?

Yes, I am supporting incumbents Scott Peterson for mayor and Marty Christensen for City Council.

Why should citizens vote for you?

I have a desire to serve and a willingness to learn. I have great respect and appreciation for this unique town and the face it represents to Eastern Iowa, and beyond - one of the 10 best small towns in America! It's very easy for me to say to friends and strangers that I am proud to be from Mount Vernon.

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