WATERLOO — City Councilman Steve Schmitt is seeking a fourth straight term.
Schmitt, 69, of 1910 Kitty Hawk Drive, announced Wednesday he will be running in the Nov. 5 municipal elections to retain the at-large council seat he’s held since winning his first election in 2007.
“When I first ran for council 12 years ago, one of my goals was to bring my business experience to local government to help the city of Waterloo find ways to provide services to its citizens in the most efficient way possible,” Schmitt said.
“During that time I have consistently offered suggestions and ideas that would provide those results,” he added.
Schmitt is an Oelwein native who has been in the telecommunications business for more than 35 years. He merged his own business, Schmitt Telecom Partners, with Advanced Systems Inc. in 2016 and serves as the firm’s vice president of telecommunications.
Schmitt touted his experience and fiscal conservative stripes.
“In 12 short years I have become the senior council member, with several of our current council members having four or less years’ experience,” he said. “As we look at some of the challenges facing Waterloo, I think my experience will be very beneficial to the taxpayers.
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“I vowed to represent the taxpayers of Waterloo, and I believe I have done that,” he added. “We have to learn to live within our budget. Our continuously high tax rate is causing businesses to look elsewhere, and causing potential new businesses to pass us by.”
Schmitt ran unopposed in 2015 to retain one of the two at-large council seats, which are elected citywide. He will face a challenge this year from retired firefighter Dave Boesen, who announced his candidacy last month.
Schmitt said a number of major community improvements have taken place during his tenure, including the opening of the Cedar Valley SportsPlex, Van G. Miller Adult Learning Center and commercial development near UnityPoint-Allen Hospital, along Ridgeway Avenue and in the industrial parks.
He also said he regularly attends many neighborhood association meetings to focus on their issues.
Schmitt has served as a liaison to many city boards and commissions. He has been a board member or president of organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts, Downtown Waterloo Rotary Club, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, Birthright, Salvation Army, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Grout Museum and Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
He received both the Mayor’s Volunteer Award and the Governor’s Volunteer Award for mentoring in the Waterloo Community Schools for more than 20 years and coaching Waterloo Leisure Services programs in with the Cedar Valley Soccer Association.
Schmitt and his wife, Jana, have six children and four grandchildren.