Iowa’s second-largest city will undergo a significant change in how it’s being run.
Cedar Rapids voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved switching from having a full-time mayor and four full-time commissioners to instead having a part-time mayor, nine part-time council members and a full-time city manager. Mike Weston, chair of the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce, says it’s a positive move.
Weston says an “overwhelming majority of folks had a vision of what this community could be and came out with almost 70-percent of the vote.” The unofficial results show 69-percent of the voters favored the new form of government while 31-percent wanted things to stay the same — as they’d been nearly 100 years. About 30-percent of the registered voters in Cedar Rapids cast ballots Tuesday.
Alan Bernard, spokesman for Citizens for a Better Cedar Rapids, says the people have clearly spoken. Bernard says “The commission form of government was stagnant and economic development will be spurred with this new form of government.” The current mayor and commission members are now “lame ducks” and will serve out their terms through the end of the year. The new city manager will be appointed by the council, once the new members are in place.