Candidate Q&A – John Pomberg, Avondale Estates City Commission
Decaturish.com contacted every candidate running for office in Decatur and Avondale Estates and provided them with a list of questions. John Pomberg is running for election to the Avondale Estates City Commission.
Here are his responses:
1) Why are you running for this position?
I am running for City Commissioner to elevate my record of interaction with city government. My attendance and participation at BOMC work sessions and regular meetings has been continuous for the past two and one half years. On only one occasion have I left a meeting before adjournment or executive session. Additionally, I participated in the Walkability study, all of the Downtown Master Plan update meetings, and the recent city wide comprehensive plan update. As a retiree, not having family and work responsibilities, I will be able to dedicate however much time is required to fulfill the duties of the position.
2) What makes you the most qualified candidate for the job?
21 years service as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Navy provided the opportunity to serve in a variety of demanding operational and administrative positions all of which required leadership, planning, and problem solving – experiences I will bring to bear as City Commissioner. The 15 years of service with the Iowa Department of Corrections gave me an insight into the workings of and relationships between state, county, and local agencies. When coupled with my record of involvement with this city’s government as described above, I am well equipped to be a fully functioning member of the BOMC from day one.
3) Proposals to annex more property into the city of Avondale Estates could be revisited over the next four years. Do you support annexing more property into the city?
I supported the previous annexation plan and would support that plan or one of similar scope in the future.
4) As a city commissioner, what will you do to support and improve educational opportunities in the city of Avondale Estates?
I will support and participate in whatever recommendations or activities the Mayor’s ad hoc committee on education puts forth. For example, I manned the tent for nine hours during Autumnfest in support of Commissioner Beebe’s T-shirt initiative.
5) The development of the Euramex project will be a big issue facing city leaders over the next four years. Do you have any concerns about this development, and what will you do to ensure it balances the needs of the developer with the needs of residents?
Based on the information available on the Euramex project to date, it may be weighted too heavily on the residential side and too lightly on the retail side, i.e. not a true “mixed use” project as hoped for. The October 7 event addressing downtown development in general terms provided information and insights that can be used to strengthen the city’s position and should be brought to bear in future discussions with the developer.
6) The downtown business district has grown over the last few years. As a commissioner, what will you do to support the continued development and growth of the downtown business district?
I will work to ensure that real or perceived regulatory impediments to continued growth and development of the downtown business district are resolved promptly but not in a manner that degrades the character and quality of life we enjoy in Avondale Estates. An adequately funded, active, and supported DDA is essential to meaningful growth and development of the downtown business district.
7) What do you think Avondale Estates should do to address the need for additional parking near the downtown business district?
The best short term (and unfortunately temporary) solution is to utilize all available vacant space for parking, which is underway. The long term solution must be an integral part the big picture downtown development. Committing to a permanent parking scheme at this point in time could be counterproductive to realizing a longer term and larger scope of downtown development.
8) Over the last few years, concerns have arisen about the level of transparency from city officials. Do you have concerns about the transparency of Avondale’s government? If so, what would you do to make city government more transparent and accountable to residents?
I do not have concerns about the transparency of the Avondale Estates city government.
9) Avondale Estates is a historic district. Do you support the current historic preservation standards, or do you think they need to be revisited?
The current historic preservation standards are adequate.
10) What are your feelings about the current effort to upgrade and renovate Willis Park?
The upgrade to Willis Park was long overdue and I am glad to see it come to fruition.
11) If elected, do you promise to behave in an ethical and transparent manner?
The election is Nov. 3 and early voting begins on Oct. 12.