IaCMA Newsletter

Iowa City / County Management Association

IaCMA Newsletter Information – June / July 2014

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Now that summer has begun in full form and fashion, here are a few pieces to peak your interest in summer activities.

Chelsea Huisman received IaCMA’s Emerging Leader Award
IaCMA’s Annual Awards program honors creative contributions to professional local government management and increases public awareness of the value of professional management to the quality of life in our communities. The Emerging Leader Award is presented to a local government and the chief administrator or assistant chief administrator in recognition of his/her innovative and successful programs.

Chelsea has been the City Administrator for the City of Center Point for almost one year after serving in the City of Griswold for two years. She has completed both a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Public Administration and is actively involved in the Iowa City / County Management Association.

Chelsea has many notable achievements under her tenures and notes that one of her proudest is building relationships with so many local staffing teams in her municipalities. Chelsea says, “These positions in local government are often underappreciated, so it has been nice to get to know the staff, and assist in developing them as employees.” 

Another of her noted accomplishments has been the conversion of ownership of the Cocklin Fish Farm Park in Griswold. The City had a longstanding management agreement with the Cass County Board of Conservation. After several years of strained relationships, the city decided to look to terminate the agreement and manage the facility on its own.

This large facility houses a lake and campgrounds with dozens of electrical hookups and was operated with little or no budget. Chelsea was tasked by the city council to develop an operational plan for the facility, including a budget. She was able to secure a lot of grant funding for needed upgrades, to assist in that first year of City park operations. Chelsea says, “There were many things we learned that year; one of them being that the Park was not very profitable, so we ended up raising camping fees. I learned a lot from this experience, (one in particular is to have good communication with the DNR). The knowledge I gathered, I will take with me moving forward.”

Chelsea states that her goals for Center Point include helping the community grow and to provide direction for maintaining the growth in the future. She sees these growing pains as opportunities, especially for wastewater treatment, fire station needs and preventative flood control.

Chelsea really enjoys working with elected officials who are fully invested in the community, have goals and visions for the future, and who allow her to assist in reaching community goals. She feels like it is a mutually beneficial relationship/partnership any city staff member must focus on continuing to build.

Chelsea really enjoys her involvement in the Association and learning about all facets of local government. She is especially appreciative of the efforts of IaCMA for promoting young professionals and engaging them in the profession.

Please congratulate Chelsea Husiman on her work and recognition as the 2014 IaCMA Emerging Leader.

City of Newton and City Administrator Robert Knabel Recognized for IaCMA’s Program of the Year Award
To be considered for the Program of the Year Award, the local government’s chief administrator must be a full (voting) IaCMA member*. Local governments must limit their nominations to no more than two programs in a single category. Each program nomination must be independent and cannot be a component of another program. Eligible programs must be:

  •  Administered under the authority of one or more governmental entities, with only limited outside assistance from experts/consultants
  • Currently be in operation and have been fully implemented within the last 3 years.
  • Must demonstrate tangible results

Excerpted from the press release issued by the City of Newton

The City of Newton, Iowa recently received the Program of the Year award from the Iowa City Manager’s Association (IaCMA) for the City’s work on the implementation of Newton’s Future: A Comprehensive Plan.

IaCMA’s annual awards program honors creative contributions to professional local government management and increases public awareness of the value of professional management to the quality of life. The Program of the Year Award is presented to a local government and its chief administrator in recognition of an innovative and successful program.

“I am very proud of the community’s work on the development and implementation of the comprehensive plan,” said Erin Chambers, City of Newton Director of Planning and Zoning, “Receiving this award helps send a message to the rest of the state that we in Newton already know—Newton’s future shines bright!”

Congratulations to the City of Newton and to City Administrator Robert Knabel for his leadership in the establishment of this outstanding program. For the full story and details of the program click here.

Thank you to Josh Heggen for all his work on the summer conference
Thanks to Josh and his team for a successful summer conference. Please save July 15-17, 2015 for next year’s IaCMA Summer Conference in Burlington at FunCity. In 2016 our summer conference will return to King’s Point Resort in Storm Lake.  


We will try to add information about the regional meetings and events as they happen in this column. If you wish to learn more about your regional activities, please click here for a list of regional coordinators or here for a map of the regions.

Regional News:
South Central – Matt Mardesen, City Administrator, Monroe

Invites you to join them for their quarterly luncheon at Gateway Recreation in Monroe on August 20, 2014 at 11:45 am.  The lunch buffet includes pork loin (sliced or sandwich), baked beans, potato salad and Jersey Freeze ice cream for $10. 

The Group has invited Dylan Feik, Knoxville Assistant City Manager to present the Knoxville I&I Program aimed at addressing the DNR mandates.  Followed by open discussion of local highlights from those SCCM communities. 

Following the luncheon, feel free to join the group in the inaugural SCCM Golf Tournament.  The tournament will be a 4 person best ball format.  Cost is $27.00 per person, which includes green fees and a cart.  Tee off will begin at 1:00 pm. 

Feel free to bring along any staff or elected officials to join in the tournament.  Let Matt know (RSVP) by August 15 if you plan to attend the luncheon and/or participate in the golf tournament.

Northeast – Beth Bonz, City Administrator, Asbury
Please reserve Friday, August 22, 2014 at noon for the next NE Iowa Manager meeting.  It will be held at the Decker Hotel, 128 N Main Street in Maquoketa, IA.


North Central – Ron Dunt, City Manager, Hampton
A luncheon get-together has been scheduled for the NIMRODS (NC Iowa Managers) for Friday, August 8th at the Three C Bistro in Charles City starting at 11:30 a.m. Steve Diers will be our host.

We hope you can attend and please forward this to any new manager/administrator that I may have missed or a manager/administrator from an adjoining region who may like to attend.
Three C Bistro is located at 510 Hildreth St., Charles City, IA 50616



News from ICMA:
Do you know any retired managers who have been doing anything interesting in their encore career that’s different than the standard spending time with family, teaching, consulting, or writing?
ICMA is looking for two not-so-traditional encore career speakers for a session at the ICMA 2014 Annual Conference in Charlotte.  Here is the contact information for ICMA staff that is putting together this session for the Conference!
Jared M. Dailey
Program Manager – Ethics and Form of Government
International City/County Management Association (ICMA)
202 962 3557 (office)
570 807 8528 mobile


From Jeff Schott and the Institute of Public Affairs:
The Institute of Public Affairs is offering our Local Government Management Training sessions, as described below, in Huxley Sept 10 & 17. 

There are also sessions in Carroll Aug 20-21 and Sheldon Aug 27-28. Certainly anybody can attend any of the locations.

The Institute of Public Affairs will be conducting our Local Government Management Training sessions in Carroll on Aug 20 and 21 and Huxley Sept 10 & 17.  The course description is provided below.

All sessions go from 10 am – 3 pm (with an hour break for lunch). The Carroll sessions will be held at the Police Dept training room in Carroll City Hall, 112 E. 5th St.  The Huxley sessions will be held at the Huxley Safe Room in the City Hall complex, 515 N. Main Ave in Huxley.

 To register for this class, contact Julie Collins at Julie-collins@uiowa.edu  or call 319-335-4520 with the names of the person(s) to be attending.  The registration fee (which includes both sessions) is $150 per attendee (payable to the Institute of Public Affairs, University of Iowa).

 Have a great rest of summer.


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