The mayor of the eastern Iowa city of Dubuque is attending the U-S Conference of Mayors in Florida. Mayor Roy Buol, says mayors across the country are worried about inaction at the federal level on issue like the transportation bill.
Buol says the transportation bill used to be something that everyone agreed on. “We have not had the devastating effects that many communities have witnessed during this recession, but every community, every city in the county has infrastructure needs. The city of Dubuque is no different when it comes to that,” Buol says.
“Those are typically things as I said, that have been nonpartisan in nature when it comes to the federal government, yet today everything is mired in partisanship and nothing can get done,” Buol says.
Buol’s comments to Radio Iowa echoed similar concerns expressed by the mayor of Des Moines — the state’s largest city — who is also attending the conference.
Beyond the political issues, Buol says he was able to share information with other mayors on topics facing cities. “I’ve picked up some ideas, especially when it comes to social media, and how some cities are using that to actually engage citizens around issues in their city. I think that’s something that most cities could still learn a lot on,” Buol says. He says they also talked about some of the problems you face in using social media.
“The anonymity of people and the ability to say whatever they please regardless of whether it’s factual or not. I think there’s ways to deal with that, but there’s also some great benefits when it comes to engaging citizens,” Buol says. Dubuque has implemented several programs involving the energy and water use of its residents and Buol says that was another big topic among mayors.