Mayoral candidates outline plans for teens

With the Cedar Falls mayoral election approaching on Tuesday, Nov. 2, it’s important to know who is running for office and what they stand for. With that being said, here are this year’s three candidates:

Rob Green: Current mayor, Rob Green, is running for a second two-year term. He was contacted by email, and he addressed both the Public Safety Officer issue and his plans for the youth of Cedar Falls. “I believe that the city should hire firefighters and police officers, and allow high-performing ones to cross-train extensively for a certification as ‘public safety officer’ every two years. It will benefit the community as a whole by providing greater assurance to the public that cross-trained officers really can perform in both police and fire roles equally effectively,” he said. He then spoke about youth development, and his plans for ensuring that our voices are heard. “I support the high school’s CAPS program and appreciate the value of the new high school for building student pride and affinity in Cedar Falls High School. Oct. 27 is being proclaimed this year for the first time as ‘Civics Day’ in the United States, and I will use this first year to highlight why local civics are so important. Students ought to feel empowered to have a voice with their elected officials. I try to be very approachable; my own kids are 13 and 15, so I’m very interested in their perspective. For specific actions, I will be bringing up with the City Council this fall a proposal to create a Youth City Council similar to the great one Waterloo currently has. I could see this as being a great advocacy group for certain initiatives in City Hall, as well as learning about how city government works. The big question for me would be who serves on that Youth City Council so that we get real representation from the whole body of youth in the city,” Green said.

You can visit his website here:

Tom Blanford: Tom Blanford is running for a first two-year term as mayor of Cedar Falls. He was also contacted by email about his plans for the police and fire departments and the Cedar Falls youth. “Cedar Falls currently has two distinct emergency departments, the fire service and the police department. Both departments are staffed 24/7 by officers who are state certified and fully trained. The distinction in our community is that these emergency responders are dual certified to help the other department. All employees attend both the State of Iowa’s law enforcement academy and the State’s fire school. After certification from both, they receive a primary duty assignment, either on the police side or the fire side. This is where the emergency responder will spend 95 percent of their time. When our community needs additional help, responders from one side can help the other. An example would be Sturgis Falls, when we need additional staff on the police side. Emergency responders who aren’t working that day on the fire side can help provide those extra resources. This model enabled our community to build the largest and most diverse department we have ever had in Cedar Falls. We have 63 dual-certified emergency responders: 24 on the fire side and 39 on the police side. As a lifeline resident, I am confident that our community is as safe as ever and our emergency responders work every day to keep us that way,” he said. He then shared his thoughts on youth development in the city. “Youth engagement and participation is critically important to the future of our community. During my time on City Council, I fought for the establishment of a student liason on City Council. This position is filled by a UNI student who helps bring the perspective of students to the city. Unfortunately, this position was not filled in 2020 and has not been filled so far this year. As Mayor, I would fill this position and look for other ways to better engage our students, including visiting CFHS, Peet and Holmes to talk directly to students and work with the school district to expand the CAPS program. Our community is currently facing a workforce shortage, exacerbated by a loss of 5,000 students from our UNI student population over the past seven years. Our community must focus on attracting and retaining students to our community. The city can be a partner in this effort. Some of the key opportunities for partnership with the city include creating new job opportunities, expanding access to diverse flyers of affordable housing and investing in quality of life projects like the Cedar River recreation projection that will improve residents’ ability to access and use the river,” Blanford said.

You can visit his website here:

Dave Sires: Dave Sires did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication, but the following information was obtained from his website. Sires advocates for full-time firefighters and separated police and fire departments in our city and believes there should be more representation in City Hall.

You can visit his website here:

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