CEDAR FALLS — At-large City Council member Rob Green, 43, has decided to run for mayor of Cedar Falls.
A member of the council since 2018, he’s occasionally butted heads with other council members and the mayor, like when he proposed a 5-year public safety plan last year that was soundly rejected.
Green said the deciding factor was a special meeting held Feb. 27 at which the council approved a parking study for College Hill and a public safety union agreement.
“I strongly feel like that meeting was inappropriate,” Green said. “It wasn’t illegal ... but I still strongly feel that having it early in the workday prevented residents from attending.”
Green said the meeting proved he has a different view of government than Mayor Jim Brown and the rest of the council. Last month Brown announced he will run for a third term.
“I’d love to leave it to the voters to decided which one they prefer,” Green said.
Green, who served as an officer in the United States Coast Guard, has lived in Cedar Falls since 2004 and works at the University of Northern Iowa in IT services as a web developer.
“I’ve had a huge upswell of support from regular residents,” Green said. “I have been heavily recruited to run, and not just by one or two of the active political people, but people from my church and from my neighborhood.”
That support has meant a lot to Green and shows people are looking for change, he said.
Green wants the mayor’s job to become part-time since the city has a full-time city administrator, he said. If elected, he’ll take a leave of absence from UNI for a year to learn his role as mayor and work with the City Council to transition the job to part time.
“I don’t want it to be a career position,” Green said.
He also wants more strategic planning for all city departments.
“I have positive relationship with the other departments, even if I disagree with them I still respect their professionalism and the expertise they bring to the field,” Green said. “We’re elected as the oversight body of the professional staff, and I think we need to be more rigorous in how we execute that.”
Over the last few years Cedar Falls has seen supercharged development, Green said. He doesn’t want to put the breaks on growth, but does want to look into reinvesting in the city’s neighborhoods and infrastructure.
“We don’t want to go to the next shiny thing and approve it simply because it’s brand new,” Green said. “We really have to see how it fits into the bigger picture of existing properties and meeting the needs of existing residents.”