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A podcast from the Iowa League of Cities

A podcast from the Iowa League of Cities
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A podcast from the Iowa League of Cities




Episode 12 - The One About Our Favorite City Slogans

It's summertime in Iowa, so we wanted to have a little fun with this episode and share some of our favorite city slogans and welcome signs that we've seen around the state. We talk about some of the clever city slogans, interesting welcome signs and memorable places that stand out to us. Check these out when you're out traveling this summer! There are so many great city welcome signs, slogans, public art installations and other landmarks across our great state - way too many to mention in...


Episode 11 - The one about the 2019 legislative session

This month's episode features a recap of the recently completed legislative session, which includes several pieces of legislation important to city governments. We sat down with Robert Palmer and Daniel Stalder from the League's Government Affairs team to get their thoughts on the session. They provided some interesting perspectives on what it's like to work in the Capitol, a few of the important issues that came out of the 2019 session and what kind of work is planned before next year....


Episode 10: The one about nuisance abatement

Nuisance abatement is challenging for all communities, and this month we sit down with Charlie Nichols, Linn County's Planning & Zoning Division Manager and formerly with the City of Burlington. Charlie offers his thoughts on how city's can effectively manage nuisance properties and describes the Healthy Neighborhoods program in Burlington, a proactive approach that helps residents improve properties. The Your Questions Answered segment provides guidance on teenagers working for a city, and...


Episode 9: The One From Colfax

The one from Colfax On the road again...that's right, The Square ventured out to Colfax for another fun episode. We had the pleasure of talking with city clerk Nancy Earles and city administrator Wade Wagoner about what it's like to serve in their roles. Nancy had a lot of interesting stories from her career working as a city clerk... some the of the strangest things can come through city hall. Wade shared thoughts on how cities can be innovative to find solutions to problems, which...


Episode 8: The one from Atkins

The Square went on the road this month to visit Atkins, a beautiful city of 1,670 residents that has experienced some growth in recent years with expectations of adding to their population in the coming years. We are joined by Eric Christianson, a field specialist at ISU Extension, who helped the city develop strategic initiatives and plans for the community. Eric shares what that process is like and how it can be beneficial for any city. Atkins Mayor Bruce Visser talks about how the...


Episode 7: The one to kick off legislative session.

Happy new year! The Square kicks off 2019 with a special look at this year's legislative session. The episode features an interesting conversation with Kim Downs, city administrator of Hiawatha, who shares some of the important legislative issues for municipal governments, her role on the League's Legislative Policy Committee and some tips for successful grassroots advocacy. We also chat with our very own Robert Palmer, Director of Government Affairs and General Counsel, about his role in...


Episode 6: The one with a few of our favorite things

As 2018 winds down we took the opportunity to look back over the past year and recognize some big moments for the League and cities around the state. We even brought in the boss to help as League executive director Alan Kemp co-hosts to share his perspective! We talk about some of our favorite Cityscape magazine cover photos and articles, new League events and services that stood out to us, what we remembered most from the 2018 Annual Conference & Exhibit (hint, it involves dancing), and a...


Episode 5: The one with Jim Thompson from IEDA

Jim Thompson, Downtown Economic Development Specialist at the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), joins the podcast for a fun conversation about his experiences working with cities and programs that can help communities at the IEDA. Jim previously served as a council member in Charles City before getting involved in economic development work, giving him keen insight into what works for cities and the challenges that so many face. Hear his perspective on what cities can do to...


Episode 4: The one where we talk to Scott Naumann

Our fourth episode of The Square features a fun interview with Scott Naumann, Bettendorf Alderman and current President of the League Executive Board. Scott's passion for his community and local government is evident throughout our chat as he talks about how he got on the city council, the important projects that have been completed in his tenure and some of the challenges he's faced as a public official. You'll also get to know Scott a little better in our lightning round of questions and...


Episode 3: The one about the 2018 Annual Conference & Exhibit

We took The Square on the road! This month's episode features interviews with city officials in the Exhibit Hall at the 2018 Annual Conference & Exhibit in Council Bluffs. Hear about some cool things happening in different communities and get a feel for the networking and fun that is always part of the annual conference. In the Your Questions Answered segment we give our take on how to best manage citizen complaints and social media comments, and in a new segment we introduce the newest...


Episode 2: The One About The 2018 All - Star Community Awards

This month on The Square we feature stories and interviews from our 2018 All-Star Community Awards – Bondurant, Lisbon and Marion! Bondurant won in the 3,000-10,000 population category for its fantastic community entrance project that included a welcome sign unlike any other featuring 10 porch swings and a firefly lighting element. Lisbon won in the fewer than 3,000 category for its community solar project that brought solar installations to four city facilities, leading to significant cost...


Episode 1: The one about Home Rule with Bob Josten

The one about Home Rule with Bob Josten Our first ever podcast! This inaugural episode focuses on a topic near and dear to all cities: Home Rule. In Iowa, Home Rule was adopted through a Constitutional amendment in 1968, with overwhelming support from citizens across the state. That effort provided city governments the authority to establish local laws and policies without needing the approval from the state legislature. This change has led to more innovative and effective municipal...