The mayor of Iowa’s second largest city is about to leave office and is reflecting on her accomplishments and challenges – including last year’s flood. Kay Halloran says she is proud of what she and the Cedar Rapids City Council accomplished.
“After the flood, I maintained that the first and most important thing we had to do was get our citizens into warm, dry housing. I think we’re well on our way to having that done,” Halloran said. Some criticized Halloran for how she and others responded to the flood, but she believes the recovery process has moved quickly compared to similar disasters in other states.
“I understand that the citizens, particularly those who were flood-affected, will never think it was fast enough,” Halloran said. Ron Corbett will take over as mayor next month. Halloran, who became the first mayor to lead Cedar Rapids under the city manager form of government, did not seek re-election. She spent four years as mayor, but her political career spans more than three decades. Halloran says she’s not ready to relax just yet and will remain active in the community.
“I have a number of options. I don’t know which one I’m going to take, or if I’m going to take more than one,” Halloran said. Those options include working on a friend’s political campaign and taking on other leadership roles in the city. Halloran faced a personal challenge this year when doctors diagnosed her with cancer. The 72-year-old Halloran says she is now cancer free and is feeling great. “I’m not ready to run five miles, but give me six weeks to get in training, and maybe I could,” Halloran said.
By Mark Geary, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids