3. Smith-Cicarella says that while the city should make every effort to use a carrot instead of a stick for maintenance of properties, that's not always going to work.
“Unfortunately, sometimes you have to force people to do the right thing. I would think that most people would want our city to look better.”
4. Parks can attract revenues, but Smith-Cicarella is very concerned about the lack of maintenance on the oxbow lagoons. The lagoons could help with flood control, but they have silted up to the point they can't do the job for which they were retained when the river channel was straightened. Lack of signage, particularly along entrances to Ottumwa, are a problem.
“We have all of these possibilities for people. But we have nothing that tells people about that. We have a lot of potential here, but the marketing doesn't seem to reflect that.”
5. The city needs to take a hard look at spending, said Smith-Cicarella. That means how things are funded, what is being studied and whether the city can make Ottumwa Regional Airport the transportation hub it should be.
“It's obvious to me that we need a regional airport. I used to fly out of Ottumwa. That's not even an option now unless you charter an airplane.”
1. Gordy grew up in Ottumwa. Both his parents worked in town, his father at the fire department and his mother at Cargill. He thought about running after he started to watch the city's actions and realized he didn't know the reasons behind decisions. He wants to communicate better with the public.
“The more I saw, the more I said someone needs to fix it. My friends said, 'Why don't you?' We're redoing things. Common sense. It just got me asking that question we don't ask enough: Why?”