Mayoral, School Board seats up for grabs | Local candidates’ offer differing paths on road to November election

As is the case each autumn, political yard signs are going up on lawns across Cedar Falls, peppering the sides of the roads with bright and bold colors stamped with the names of local politicians. These street signs strive to make the names of local candidates “pop,” expressing support and increasing their name recognition in hopes of winning at the ballot box in November.

This year’s city elections are especially contentious, headlined by the showdown between incumbent mayor Jim Brown and current councilman Rob Green. The two, playing off of their color-coded names, sport brown and green yard signs, respectively.

One of the biggest issues in the mayor’s race is the Public Safety Officer program implemented in April of 2015. this program has brought in police officers to work in the fire department as public safety officers. 

Supporters of this policy, including Mayor Brown, say it creates a greater level of efficiency in safety services and saves the city money while maintaining a high level of safety. Opponents, including Councilman Green, argue that it hurts firefighters and decreases the overall safety of residents by hampering the ability to quickly respond to fires.

Also taking place this fall is the race for one of Cedar Falls’ at-large city council seats. Incumbent Dave Wieland opted not to seek reelection, and three candidates so far have jumped into the race for the open seat: 37-year-old Army vet Nate Didier, 42-year-old former councilmember Nick Taiber and 58-year-old businessman Dave Sires. 

Didier opposes the PSO program, supports fiscal responsibility and government transparency, as well as making the city more accountable to its residents. Taiber supports keeping taxes low while investing in infrastructure, and pursuing partnerships with local businesses and other governments. Sires’ primary focus is on reducing crime and ensuring the safety of residents.

Another contest occurring this November is the race for Cedar Falls School Board. Six candidates are currently running for four open spots on the school board. Three of these candidates are incumbents: Jeff Hassman, Susan Hines and Jenny Leeper. Also running are Aaron Culley, Nate Gruber and Susan Sims. 

This election will take place on Nov. 5, the same time as the city elections.

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