Monticello needs ‘caring people’ to run for city government

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

   Recently, the elections in Monticello were opened so every citizen can now vote for all council members; no longer are wards a protected status.

   Something needs to happen to kick-start Monticello.

   I was trying to figure out what makes Monticello really tick when it comes to being a city, and for the life of me, I couldn’t come up much! Most of the time we are simply resting on our laurels of the past while things slowly slip away.

   REM Electric was a case in point; 80-plus years and they didn’t even attempt to sell it as a stand-alone business in Monticello before putting it on the auction block. Kraus Plumbing expanded its business, buying out Foster Plumbing and Heating, then moved its local operations to Anamosa. Their Monticello building is up for sale, and so goes another business away without a whimper. Clearly our “assets” are on the line while our city government fiddles while our “Rome” burns. Maybe that is just the way it goes, but others are certainly doing much better hanging on than we are.

   What appears to be a simple problem takes forever to resolve, like the Highway 38 and S. Main stoplight that has been out since November! The two new restaurants are great, but at the same time, how long will they last is still the question. Certainly there won’t be a problem with on-street parking!

   So, in the next city election, every council seat will be open and the top vote-getters will have four-year terms and the bottom three will get two-year terms. What we need are thoughtful and intelligent people to run who want Monticello to excel, not to simply hang on by its fingertips! The task is no longer voluntary; you do get paid for making a difference! (Editor’s Note: For the past 50-plus years, the Monticello City Council and mayor have all been paid elected positions, not “voluntary.” Recently, the council increased the stipend to $300 a month for council members and $500 a month for the mayor.) I’m asking you please consider this important job that needs caring people to turn this around!

Steve Hanken

Monticello, Iowa


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