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Gowdy proud to help move Marshalltown forward | News, Sports, Jobs

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Outgoing Marshalltown Councilor Mike Gowdy was first elected in 2014 and served in Ward 3.

Mike Gowdy is grateful when he patrols the streets of Marshalltown and sees projects he has helped bring to fruition, started or completed.

“Everyone on the board – Bill (Martin), Bethany (Wirin) and I – we’ve seen a lot of accomplishments,” he said. “The trails, the airport, the Fisher Community Building being rebuilt. There are a lot of things we are all proud of.

Gowdy joined the board in 2014 with the intention of bringing some of his leadership experience to the table to achieve a common goal with other stakeholders in the city. Among all of his goals, the common theme was to move Marshalltown forward.

“A lot of my main reason for running was just (that) Marshalltown seemed to be a little stagnant,” he said. “I heard a lot of rumors about the housing issues and the different issues that Marshalltown as a whole was facing. I thought I was a pretty level-headed person on a lot of different topics. I have had the time it takes to put a lot of effort into different areas of city management.

Gowdy was familiar with Marshalltown, having lived in the city since 1974. He held leadership positions in the American Legion and was the charter commander of the Sons of the American Legion. Former councilor Bob Schubert took Gowdy under his wing, knowing he had an interest in running for council one day.

Schubert was a figure in his own right as Gowdy found his voice with the board.

“As he mentored me throughout my early years on council, he always spoke of the fact that city government was very different from the inside looking out,” Gowdy said. “It was certainly true for many parts of municipal government. I just like the challenges, and there were a lot of challenges.

Gowdy took them on board, researching every issue the board would consider and listening to the public for their concerns.

City administrator Jessica Kinser said Gowdy was a unique asset to the council.

“Each person brings something different to the table. The thing Mike always did was listen to everyone who called him, ”she said. “He is very aware of what is going on in his department. “

Gowdy has taken a listen-first approach to board meetings. He rarely spoke during meetings, but when he did, he spoke with an open mind and showed a willingness to work together.

During his two terms on the board, Gowdy went beyond his role in the boardroom to serve on the fundraising committee for the renovation of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. He helped solicit votes for the E. Merle Hibbs Project and championed projects like the new McFarland Clinic, several housing projects, and the effort to keep Lennox in Marshalltown after the tornado. He was also chairman of the landfill commission and was instrumental in bringing JBS back to service just days after the tornado.

After two terms on city council, Gowdy is ready to pass the torch from his third quarter seat to a new councilor, Dex Walker. Like Schubert before him, Gowdy has shared his advice with Walker and is delighted to see him take the reins.

“Always come in with an open mind and a sense of dedication to any project that comes up,” Gowdy said, offering advice to new board members. “Always think of the citizens of Marshalltown when making these decisions. “

Gowdy said he hopes to see more diversity come to the council in future cycles, and he’s confident he will soon begin to reflect the diversity of the city’s population.

“At the next board meeting, when the camera moves, the average board age will be drastically reduced. Bill and I are 70 years old and we trade for 35 year old men, ”he said. “By expressing my opinion on youth, I am expressing my opinion on diversity. It is necessary with the diversity of our community.

Gowdy will continue to work with the Kiwanis Club and the Board of Adjustments as well as patrol projects undertaken by the city. With the extra free time he has, he will be spending it with his children and grandchildren who all live in Marshalltown. As a bonus, he will go into the water for more fishing, which he missed a lot.

“I used to love fishing, and I haven’t been able to do much in the past few years,” he said. “I can’t wait to get the line wet.”

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