The Ottumwa Courier


October 4, 2013

Council candidate profiles


“The city has let [the lagoons] go for so long. That should never have been let go. You could have canoeing, kayaking, paddle boats.”

5. Economic development must be the city's top priority, Stevens said. That effort needs a long-term vision, as does revision of the city's code. He'd like to revisit issues in the new nuisance ordinance to clarify them. Without clarity, he said, it's difficult for a citation to stand up in court.

“Probably the top priority would be economic development. We need a vision and we need goals. I think we need to look at our entire code book.”


Matt Dalbey

1. Dalbey is a union steward at John Deere and says he and his family are committed to Ottumwa and the city's future. He sees that future bound up in the city's ability to adapt to the new property tax structure following the state's reforms and having employers that pay a decent wage. They're challenges, he said, but not insurmountable.

“I would like to see an increased focus on making livable wage jobs come to Ottumwa. Whatever this business requires to locate here, we need to take that into consideration. Sometimes the choices are going to be tough.”

2. Incentives would provide a boost for downtown redevelopment, but the city needs to weigh how to offer them. Trust would help as well. When the sewer separation project is finished, Dalbey wants the taxes that paid for it to come off the books as a show of good faith that temporary taxes are not always going to be permanent features.

“That's an essential component. You've got to have those incentives in place.”

3. Improving the city's appearance is a necessary step, Dalbey said. That means getting people to buy in and commit to making it happen. Honest conversations between city leaders and residents are a first step, before tightening any ordinances. But if unkempt or dilapidated properties hurt Ottumwa's chances of growth, that's a concern for everyone.

Text Only
  • Parks Dept. has long list of projects

    OTTUMWA — The Parks and Recreation Department has approved a list of capital improvements for the next two years that includes the installation of handicapped-accessible swings and new park bathrooms.

    July 9, 2014

  • 0710 Farmers Market Color Photo 1 -L -M Fresh food improves community

    OTTUMWA — Every summer across the Midwest, food stands pop up on gravel roads, and farmers markets are filled with a variety of home-grown products. Finding a fresh selection of healthy greens and juicy fruits isn't as hard as you might think. Accord

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0703 OTT Heart boy photo A Heartfelt Miracle OTTUMWA — It’s funny how wishes can change so completely in just a few weeks. But laughter wasn’t the reaction of Jeff and Mary Penrod.The Ottumwa couple’s son, Brandon, was 18 years old when, in February, Mary took him to the Pella clinic to get loo

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703 OTT River Hills parking lot color photo -L -T River Hills expansion progresses

    OTTUMWA — Expanding River Hills Community Health Center downtown continues to be a priority with the Ottumwa City Council. Earlier this week, the council authorized city staff to survey the property, prepare a draft developers agreement as well as pr

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street repair program begins OTTUMWA — If you think roadwork projects in the city of Ottumwa are just about complete, think again. This week, the Ottumwa City Council awarded its preventative maintenance contract for sealing cracks in asphalt and concrete pavement roads througho

    July 2, 2014

  • A new look OTTUMWA — The 300 block of East Main Street in Ottumwa will be getting a facelift. During a public hearing earlier this week, the Ottumwa City Council gave its OK to the plans and specifications to renovate 15 buildings’ storefronts in downtown Ottum

    July 2, 2014

  • City won't tolerate bad behavior

    OTTUMWA — A newly designed policy to establish standards of behavior was presented to Ottumwa City Council on Tuesday night.The new policy’s introduction on Tuesday, demands city staff and elected officials exhibit professional behavior when they int

    July 1, 2014

  • 0702 OTT library grant color photo -T -L -M Ottumwa Public Library updates genealogy room

    OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Public Library is the recipient of a Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund Grant from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation. The Friends of the Ottumwa Public Library group gave $5,520 to put toward a new microfilm reader. The

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0625 OTT Riverfront Renaissance color photo -L -M Riverfront Renaissance begins mapping out ideas

    OTTUMWA — It was serious work to play with stickers and maps Tuesday evening. Concentration was on more than 70 faces as colored dots found their way up and down several maps of the river flowing through downtown Ottumwa. The Ottumwa Regional Legacy

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0624 OTT Marine photos Marine mourned by family

    OTTUMWA --- Adam Wolff's extended family was able to enjoy a bit of time with him before he deployed. "He came back in March, after his [Marine Corps advanced] schooling in North Carolina," said his sister, Angela Malone. "We had a dinner for him, a

    June 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

AP National