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CR City Manager Shares Views

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS 2/FOX 28) - The mayor of Cedar Rapids talked up the community's successes and addressed its challenges last week during his annual State of the City speech. We often hear from Ron Corbett on a number of issues. Now, in this interview with CBS 2 and FOX 28, a voice you don't hear nearly as frequent; the person actually responsible for the city's day-to-day operations.  
As city manager, I never want to hear that a business began in Cedar Rapids but then had to move somewhere else in order to grow," says Jeff Pomeranz. "We want to make sure that were supporting the businesses in our city that want to grow and want to develop and we have that kind of atmosphere for them to do so.

Pomeranz brings a lot to the table with experience in both business and government. He spent a dozen years as the city manager in West Des Moines, and now after just three-and-a-half years here, he's proud of his adopted city. I think were a tremendous community, I think were one of the best communities in the United States. We need to remind ourselves of everything we have here; of our history, of our entrepreneurs, of our business community of our people and realize that we are really number one.

That's not to say there isn't room for improvement, says Pomeranz. Certainly theres lots of input and I dont want to minimize that and people always have an idea about how we can do a better job. But when Im out in the community I think theres a real momentum and theres a positive feeling about this community moving forward and doing some phenomenal things in the future.

Pomeranz is quick to deflect credit, citing strong leadership on the city council and beyond. That combination of political representatives as well as administrative representatives and city employees, public servants, all working hard to try to do their best for the citizens I think is something we have now but something that we always want to get better at.

And to the critics who think the city's focus is soley on the downtown?  Im the city manager not the downtown manager. So I look at the entire community. But theres an old saying if the core is rotten the whole apple is rotten so we need to always emphasize the importance of downtown but always look toward the quality and the vitality of our entire city.

Pomeranz cites new home building and rehabilitation in flood-impacted neighborhoods, imminent street improvements thanks to passage of the one cent option tax and promised flood protection on both sides of the river.  And while the latter will take years to accomplish, Pomeranz says everyone will soon have a chance to weigh in. We want the community to feel comfortable with where these eventual walls are going to go and these levees and these removable walls and so we'll be having quite an effort to engage the public in that planning process.
You can see the complete, unedited interview with Jeff Pomeranz in the Raw News section of this website.
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