Iowa Local Government Professionals

Iowa City / County Management Association

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City managers in the news.

The North Iowa regional group held a lunch in Clear Lake on Friday, August 25. There were several managers in attendance, one even rode his motorcycle (Curt). Senior Advisor Dick Hierstein provided a brief update on news from around the region and each member in attendance noted something going on in their city.

There was good conversation about supporting one another and sharing uplifting bits from our collective experiences. Brent Trout noted he was leaving Mason City for Topeka, KS by the end of October. Congratulations and best wishes Brent.

Update on IaCMA memberships:

  • Year-to-date 2017 membership is 174
  • 205 Members in 2016
  • 23 members have joined in 2017 that were not members in 2016
Memberships keep our association strong
           There are several direct benefits that your membership helps provide; Two annual meetings which help educate those in attendance on timely topics such as economic development, ethics and diversity in the workplace. Another benefit is the personal aid and development assistance provided to members in transition and those dealing with personal problems and crisis. Membership also includes access to the IaCMA Grapevine. A listserve that enables members to contact peers about issues of mutual interest and concern.
           A less tangible benefit, yet equally important, is the opportunity to meet and associate with your peers throughout the state. A regional support network has been established to guarantee membership provided assistance starts in your own backyard and continues from border to border. Chances are that your problems have already been experienced elsewhere and, therefore, solutions are just a phone call away. As a member, you will get to know your colleagues on both a personal and professional basis.

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Iowa League of Cities annual conference and exhibit – September 27-29, Davenport

Please consider joining us for the Iowa League of Cities Annual Conference & Exhibit. This year’s conference will take place September 27-29 in Davenport. The wide variety of educational workshops and networking events geared toward elected and appointed city officials draw hundreds each year. There is still time for you and your elected officials to register for this exciting training event. More than 40 workshops are scheduled for the conference. Here’s just a few that will be of particular interest to city managers and city administrators, many of which will be presented by IaCMA members:

Economic Development is a Team Effort
Intentional Transformation of Your City
Using Urban Renewal Tools to Promote Growth
What City Officials Need to Know About the ADA
Intergovernmental Collaboration Success Stories
Working Together and Using Legal Strategies to Address Difficult Citizens, Employees and Properties
Additional Information and Registration

Also during the League Conference, IaCMA will have a reception to announce the Manager of the Year Award winner (nomination forms are due August 15). This reception will occur at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 28, 2017; the event will be held at Me & Billy- Kitchen and Bar (200 West 3rd Street, Davenport).

See you in Davenport!

Mark Tomb
Director of Membership Services
Iowa League of Cities

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IaCMA Newsletter Information July 2017

2017 Emerging Leader Award – Angie Charipar

Excerpted from award nomination

The IaCMA’s Emerging Leader Award is presented to a local government and the chief administrator or assistant chief administrator in recognition of his/her innovate and successful programs.

Angie-Charipar_CaptionedThe 2017 award recipient has been with the city of Cedar Rapids since 2009 and promoted to Assistant to the City Manager in March 2013.

Angie’s responsibilities include serving as the City’s legislative representative, monitoring progress of legislation and regulations, working with state and federal legislators to secure funding and policy initiatives favorable to the City of Cedar Rapids and developing legislative agenda for the Mayor and Council.

In addition to her legislative work, Angie provides management support for projects and programs for the City Manager, coordinates special projects and programs, City-wide activities involving multiple departments and / or outside organizations, and researches and brings to resolution administrative and municipal issues, and manages requests requiring interdepartmental coordination.

In her role as the Assistant to the City Manager, Angie has had the opportunity to make significant contributions to the City of Cedar Rapids and the Cedar Rapids community. Internally, Angie is leading an organization health initiative, a major professional employee development opportunity following teachings of author Patrick Lencioni. She has managed a nearly two-year effort to train city directors and managers in the principles of organizational health, meeting management, and teambuilding.

For the community, Angie has worked diligently to secure flood protection funding, both from Congress at the federal level working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, our congressional offices, the Office of Management and Budget, and the White House, and also with the Iowa State Legislature, resulting in a $270 million grant award to Cedar Rapids.

Angie also serves as the city staff representative on the board of the convention and visitor’s bureau, GoCR!. In this role, she has successfully led a search for a new executive director, restructuring of staff, diversification of funding sources, and for GoCR to take on a new and exciting role of leading the production of large local events to build vibrancy and excitement within Cedar Rapids.

In Angie’s short tenure as Assistant to the City Manager, she has made an extraordinary impact on Cedar Rapids, serving citizens in their neighborhoods, building a greater community for at-rick populations, and making downtown an even more beautiful place. Her work has made a mark on the community.

Angie is a graduate from the University of Iowa with a BA in Political Science. She spent ten years in Congressman Jim Leach’s office and then worked for AEGON as their political action committee grassroots manager.

Please join in recognizing our 2017 Emerging Leader Award winner, Angie Charipar.

Congratulations Angie!

City of Des Moines and City Manager Scott Sanders recognized for IaCMA’s Program of the Year Award.


Excerpted from award nomination

“Speak Up DSM” named Program of the Year

The Problem

The City of Des Moines’ Council recently adopted a strategic plan with a new organizational mission:

“To be a financially strong city with exceptional municipal services, in a customer friendly manner with an involved community – residents and businesses”

For the last decade, the City of Des Moines has held a number of in-person meetings regarding the budget, but the same handful of residents were always the only individuals in the audience and staff always outnumbered participants. The process wasn’t effective and staff knew they needed to find a way to meet residents where they were, in order to successfully own the new mission.

The Solution

SpeakUpDSM is a new ongoing commitment to empower Des Moines residents by distributing information on various planning or budget issues, sharing limitations and asking for input to help solve the issues.

In 2016-2017, the City of Des Moines hosted six public meetings regarding the City’s $600M budget, broadcasted live on Facebook, Twitter and their local government cable channel. There was live mobile polling available for online viewers as well as in person attendees and surveys developed for those who couldn’t attend but wanted to participate. After each public meeting and survey time had lapsed, findings were posted on the City’s webpage and attendees were emailed a synopsis of the feedback received.

What was found, is that given information and opportunity, residents were more than willing to help and desired to stay connected to their local government.  City Departments are looking forward to finding more effective uses of staff time in public meetings to ensure that critical feedback is collected from residents even if they aren’t willing or able to attend a physical public meeting.


There were costs involved in this process, but the return on investment was significant.

Poll Everywhere Software $499.00
Two-hour LIVE broadcast meeting $955.00
–          Facebook LIVE
–          Local Channel LIVE
–          Twitter LIVE
Facility use Free
Refreshments $100.00
Total $1,554.00

 The Results

SpeakUp DSM has been so successful that it is being expanded to other planning efforts within the City of Des Moines in the coming months.

Public engagement increased 400%

Social media audiences grew 23%

Website traffic increased 79% from 1,959 visits during the 2016 budget season to 3,515 visits in 2017 season.

More than 10,000 residents were reached with 2,458 unique viewers and 300 engagements.

Feedback from the community has been positive. One resident recently posted via Facebook that the City of Des Moines should evaluate Facebook Live streaming more public meetings.

This effort enabled a passionate segment of the community to come together and demonstrate the importance of cycling in Des Moines. More than 130 people attended one of the Town Hall meetings to voice their support of a new position being considered to oversee bicycle facilities and planning. The outpouring of support for this position via SpeakUp DSM was so resounding that the Des Moines City Council included it in their approved FY17-18 budget. Not only does this show the effectiveness of community engagement, it also demonstrates the follow-through of the City Council using public input to make difficult budgetary decisions.

Lessons Learned

This technology is quickly becoming the new standard for community engagement in the work done at the City of Des Moines. Staff learned that their community is ready to engage given the opportunity and that it is paramount to remove every possible barrier for this process to be most effective. Not all of the residents are technologically inclined, but that was okay as long as an alternative means for input was provided.

Equipping local organizations with a concise focus to advocate for events can have rippling effects without maximizing staff time. Leverage your community relationships and encourage them to work with you to get the word out.

Always note the return on investment– track all metrics (viewers/ clicks/web hits/ attendees/etc).

Follow UpResidents/Attendees always want to know what staff is going to do with the information collected or what the cumulative response was to the surveys. Share the information and continue to find ways to keep them engaged.

Congratulations City of Des Moines for an outstanding new program!

To be considered for the Program of the Year Award, the local government’s chief administrator must be a full (voting) IaCMA member.  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

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IaCMA Summer Conference – 2017

IaCMA Summer Conference-Registration and Hotel Information
The Summer Conference will occur at the Honey Creek Resort State Park on Rathbun Lake- July 12-14, 2017. Additional conference information, including a conference agenda, can be found on the IaCMA website. There you will also find an online registration option that accepts credit card payments. To use this option, you will need to login using your League website account information. There is also a paper registration option at the link included above. Full conference registration is $155 for IaCMA members and $175 for non-members. Below you will find information regarding hotel reservations, please note that the room block expires early this year (June 13).

Hotel Reservations
Honey Creek Resort State Park on Rathbun Lake
12633 Resort Dr, Moravia, IA 52571
Special rates have been negotiated for the Iowa City/County Management Association Summer Conference. Reservations can be made by calling 641-724-9100; referencing ICMA. Room rates under the block start at $109. Room block expires June 13.

The Iowa City/County Management Association will provide three complimentary registrations for the 2017 IaCMA Summer Conference. If you are interested in being considered for a stipend, please send a very brief request with your name, title, city and whether you have attended a previous IaCMA Summer Conference. Priority will be given to those members attending their first conference but all members are encouraged to apply including those that have already registered. Please send information to by Noon on Monday, June  5. Decisions will be made within a week of the deadline.

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IaCMA News – May 2017

IaCMA Newsletter Information
May 2017
Spring Membership Updates

Forest City is new home for Barbara Smith

Smith was recently appointed as city administrator in Forest City. She previously served in the same position in Laurens.

Matthew Brooke is the new city administrator in Clinton

Brooke left his position as the Senior Manager of Corporate Services at REG, Inc. in Ames to replace former City Administrator Jessica Kinser. After serving in the United States Army for 22 years, this will be Brooke’s first public administration position. Brooke is a graduate of Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, and recently completed his Masters of Business Administration program at Iowa State University.

Andrew Kida takes Camanche city administrator position

Andrew previously served in the Navy and attended Northern Illinois University. He holds an MPA from Ashford University.  Andrew served on the Ashton City Council from 2009 to 2013.  His service included work on the Cemetery Board and the Community and Economic Development Board for the city. Be sure to ask him about old 78 vinyl records.

Jessica Kinser is appointed to Marshalltown city administrator post

After serving as the administrator in Griswold, Jessica became the finance officer for Clinton, then promoted to city administrator there. She served Clinton as administer for over three years before moving to Marshalltown.

Brian Wagner leaves Maquoketa

Brian Wagner has left his post in Maquoketa after 19 years as city manager.
Wagner stated in Quad City Times article, “There will be a positive outcome for the city and me. I’d like to think in the 19 years I’ve been here, I’ve helped a lot of people.” Best wishes Brian.

Jason Peters begins new career in Okoboji

Jason Peters was hired as the new city administrator in Okoboji after a legal career. He began his duties in December.

Newton hires Matthew Muckler as their new city administer

Matthew Muckler was unanimously chosen from a pool of finalists. Muckler comes to Newton from West Branch where he has served as city administrator since May 2010. Prior to his time in West Branch, Muckler was the assistant to the town manager in Buckeye, Ariz. and a council administrator in Vigo County, Ind.

Todd Kilzer retires from city of Madrid

City Administrator Todd Kilzer has retired from Madrid. Kilzer has served Madrid for almost 23 years.
Best wishes Todd.

Cindy Steinhauser to accept position as city manager in Frankfort, KY

Dubuque Assistant City Manager Cindy Steinhauser has accepted the city manager position for Frankfort, Kentucky. She will leave employment with the City of Dubuque in early June and begin the new position on June 8. Steinhauser is a Dubuque native and Loras College graduate. She has been employed with the City of Dubuque since 1995 and has served as assistant city manager since 2001.
A farewell reception will be held May 31, 5:30 pm at the Grand River Center in Dubuque.

Benjamin Champ named as city manager in Pleasant Hill

Current assistant city manager of Pleasant Hill, Benjamin Champ, will be named the new city manager when current city manager Don Sandor retires at the end of June. Champ had previously served as interim city manager issues a few years ago.

ICMA Coaching Program webinars qualify for ICMA Credentialing Program credit.

We are pleased to announce that the ICMA Coaching Program webinars now qualify for credit in the ICMA Credentialing Program. The webinars in 2017 address 12 of the 18 ICMA practice areas. Each webinar registration notes the relevant practices. Registration for all webinars is available at Here’s a quick summary of the 2017 webinars and the associated practices:

  • “Effective Communication of Complex Issues to the Public” September 7, 2017
    Practice 8 (Democratic Advocacy and Public Engagement), 15 (Presentation Skills), and 16 (Media Relations)
  • “Strategies for Having Difficult Conversations” October 11, 2017
    Practice 1 (Staff Effectiveness) and 12 (Human Resources Management)
  • “Tools to Resolve Tough Issues in Your Community” November 9, 2017
    Practice 2 (Policy Facilitation) and 14 (Advocacy and Interpersonal Communication)

ICMA is a big network of small communities (the majority of ICMA members work in small and mid-size communities) – through ICMA membership you have affordable access to information, resources, and leading practices to help you strengthen your organization.

Learn more about ICMA membership (or join online) at, contact to request a membership information packet, or call 800-745-8780 with any questions.

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IMMI update

From the Desk of Jeff Schott,

The 2017 Iowa Municipal Management Institute (IMMI) is scheduled for March 15 – 17, 2017, at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Iowa City.  The program is almost finalized and we believe it will provide you an excellent opportunity for professional development as well as networking with your colleagues.  Information regarding conference registration, hotel reservations and the final program will be sent out in mid-January.

Hope to see you there!

Best wishes for a joyous holiday season!


In other news…

Andrew Kida has been appointed the new city administrator for the city of Camanche. Congratulations Andrew.

Ashley Monroe begins her new role as the Iowa City Manager’s Office gets back to full strength. Ashley has be hired as a new assistant city manager. Welcome Ashley.

And briefly, from the work station of Mark Miller, senior advisor;

Gene Gettys is the new City Administrator in Harlan.  Mr. Gettys has recently served as the Mayor of Harlan and is a Harlan native.

Other new City Administrators in Southwest Iowa include Allison Kitzman in Lenox, Amber Nelson in Woodbine Iowa and Laura Hanson in Griswold Iowa

Denise Simmons is the new City Administrator in Leon Iowa and is also serving as interim in Murray pending the City appoints a new CA.

In South Central Iowa  Lori Martin is the City Administrator in Prairie City.  Prior to this move Lori had moved to Prairie City to be City Clerk from State Center where she had held the same position.

Bob Knabel has retired as City Administrator in Newton.

Centerville has hired Pat Callahan to conduct its search to succeed Patrick Antofsen in that community.

Liz Hansen is the new City Administrator in Windsor Heights.

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IaCMA Newsletter – November 2016

Fall Membership Updates

City of Boone hires Bill Skare for city administrator
Skare has served as the city of Boone’s public safety director for 27 years. The search for a new administrator began after Luke Nelson departed over the summer.

Jane Zahasky returns home and is named city administrator of Ogden.
Jane and her husband Larry moved back to Ogden this past summer and began her work for the city of Ogden in August. She is excited to be back and looks forward to promoting all that Ogden has to offer.

Mike Boyd has agreed to a mutual separation agreement with the city of Eagle Grove
Boyd worked for Eagle Grove for six years. The city is looking for an interim administrator and plans to search for a permanent replacement.

Sheldon hires new city manager in Sean Hutchison
Hutchison is coming from the City of Crockett, TX where he served for two years. Prior to that he served in the city of Combine Locks, WI for 7 years.

Corri Spiegel named as Davenport City Administrator
Spiegel came to Davenport in 2014 as the Assistant to the City Administrator, and served as the Interim City Administrator for more than a year before being appointed to the role of City Administrator. Corri is a member of ICMA, pursuing credentialed manager status, and IEDC where she earned the Certified Economic Developer designation in 2011.

Michel Pogge-Weaver new city manager in Carroll
Pogge-Weaver is from Benson, MN and served as county administrator for Swift County, MN. Pogge-Weaver was raised in Fort Dodge and has experience in community planning and development.

Webster City hires Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez as new city administrator
Ortiz-Hernandez comes to Webster City from Kimball, NE

Marshalltown hire Jessica Kinser as its next city administrator
Kinser will start in Marshalltown on November 14th and is excited to be closer to family.


Iowa Lean Consortium honors City of Fort Dodge Executive with Fifth Annual Lean Champion Award

DES MOINES, (October 12, 2016) –The Iowa Lean Consortium (ILC) has named David Fierke, City Manager for the City of Fort Dodge, as the 2016 Iowa Lean Champion. The award was created to honor a leader who has made significant contributions to Lean practices and/or led a Lean journey for 10 or more years. The award was presented at the ILC’s annual fall conference on October 12th.

Lean is a methodology focusing on the elimination of waste within a process to improve time, cost, and quality while providing customers exactly what they need.

David has been a strong Lean leader in government.  His belief in the transformative power of Lean is evident through his actions and we are pleased to honor his work and achievements,” Jeff Dahm, ILC board president and factory advisor at Deere & Company.

As the City Manager, David Fierke inherited a tough situation when he arrived in 2006. Like other Midwestern “blue collar” towns, Fort Dodge had endured the loss of major employers resulting in a declining population, downtown vacancies and aging infrastructure. Tax and fee receipts were not matching expenses with projections showing the gap widening. But David had a vision and a strategy for realizing that vision. He had done his homework on Lean, realizing that it was not simply a toolset but rather a means for transforming culture. And he understood that it started with him.

David is a member of the Fort Dodge Rotary. He is also the Past President of the Iowa City/County Management Association. “I’m both honored and humbled to be receiving this award,” said Fierke. In January, 2016 BusinessWire recognized Fort Dodge as one of the 15 semi-finalists in their America’s Best Communities $10M Competition.

The results are also evident in the top level metrics tracked as part of the Fort Dodge 2010 strategic plan which contained seven top level goals to be realized by 2015:

  • Reduce the crime rate by 8% (FBI Category 1 UCR); Actual reduction 11%
  • Increase sewer revenue by 20%; Actual increase 56%
  • Increase water revenue by 20%; Actual increase 90%
  • Increase hotel/motel tax by 20%; Actual increase 51%
  • Increase average wage by 15%; Actual increase 20%
  • Increase property tax base by 10%; Actual increase 11%

Fierke is the fifth Lean Champion to be recognized by the ILC. Recipients are selected based on multiple criteria including:

  • Leadership – Recognized leader in Lean and continuous improvement.
  • Sustainability – 10 years practicing in a leadership or change agent role.
  • Impact – Demonstrated and quantifiable business improvements.
  • Principle Based – Demonstrated key Lean principles of respect and continuous improvement.
  • Influential – Has been a role model and mentor to others.
  • Outreach – Leader in the community as well as in business.

To learn more about the Iowa Lean Consortium and past Lean Champion Award recipients, visit

Contact: Teresa Hay McMahon, Iowa Lean Consortium, 515-250-7078

About Iowa Lean Consortium
The ILC is a dynamic, member-driven non-profit organization dedicated to advancing Lean in all sectors of the economy.  It is a leading resource to Iowa companies who seek to improve their organizational effectiveness and efficiencies.  The ILC is for executives to front-line managers, and beginning to advanced practitioners.  In addition to manufacturing and consumer product companies, Lean is highly successful across all industries including healthcare, education, government, and service organizations.