WATERLOO - A Waterloo firefighter and former University of Iowa football star is hoping to break out in this upcoming city election's most crowded field.
Kerry Burt, 40, of 150 Hawthorne Ave., is one of four people vying for the Ward 5 City Council seat up for grabs Nov. 8. Other Ward 5 hopefuls include incumbent Ron Welper, former councilwoman Barb Krizek and political newcomer Dale Wille.
"I have family and friends in Waterloo and I look to make Waterloo a better place," said Burt.
Burt was born and raised in Waterloo, where he starred in football and basketball at West High School. He earned All-American and all-conference honors as a member and captain of the University of Iowa football team, earning a bachelor's degree in communication studies and master's degree in higher education.
After playing football professionally for the Houston Oilers of the National Football League and the Maryland Commandos of the Arena Football League, Burt returned to Waterloo. He has been a firefighter since 1996 and has been a licensed financial service agent since 1993, while actively volunteering in community activities.
"Waterloo is a great city, with its rich traditions, diversity and synergistic value," Burt said.
"We need proper administration to be as efficient as we can with our monies. We must dialogue with other local government bodies, and our state, to better serve the people of Waterloo and our good neighbors of the Greater Cedar Valley.
"The direction of our future, positive partnerships with friends and neighbors will improve Waterloo - the hub of our Cedar Valley - and allow us to maintain safe, clean and productive lives," he added.
The Ward 5 council race marks Burt's second bid for local elected office. He finished last in a five-way mayor race in 2003, which was eventually won by Mayor Tim Hurley in a runoff vote.
Burt said one of his key goals, if elected, would be to make Waterloo the "city of choice" for economic development prospects.
"We should work to attract new businesses for our economy (and) we should work to maintain businesses which already call Waterloo home," he said. "We should work with current businesses for expansion and/or diversification, for them and (the city's) work force."
Burt also expressed disappointment in the current city leaders' handling of a controversial property maintenance code adopted earlier this year.
"I believe that the process towards our property maintenance code was handled poorly by our current administration," he said. "We had legitimate taxpayer concerns ignored during the early stage's of this code's development. We can, and should, do better."
Welper, who Burt is looking to unseat, was one of two council members opposing the maintenance code's adoption.
Burt is also calling for better cooperation between city leaders and state legislators heading into the next legislative session.
"The disparity with our tax rates needs to be addressed as the laws and rules are made," he said. "An overall reduction is the goal."
Contact Tim Jamison at (319) 291-1577 or at email@example.com.