Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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Cedar Rapids is one of the five largest cities in Iowa. It is the second largest city in Iowa and is the county seat of Linn County. The city lies on both banks of the Cedar River, 20 miles (32 km) north of Iowa City and 100 miles (160 km) east of Des Moines, the state's capital and largest city. City hall and the Linn County Courthouse are located on Mays Island in the Cedar River; Cedar Rapids is one of few cities in the world with governmental offices on a municipal island. Cedar Rapids is an economic hub of the state, located in the core of the Interstate 380 Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Technology Corridor of Linn, Benton, Jones, Johnson, and Washington counties. The estimated population of the three-county Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes the nearby cities of Marion and Hiawatha, was 255,452 in 2008. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was 126,326.

Website evaluation

See also: Evaluation of Iowa city websites

Last rated on Jan. 30, 2012

The good

  • Current and archived budget documents are available.[1]
  • Council meeting schedules, agendas, and minutes are posted.[2]
  • Names and contact information are provided for elected officials.[3]
  • Zoning information is provided online.[4]
  • Permit information and documents are available.[5]
  • External financial audits are published online.[6]
  • Open bids and closed contracts are available.[7]
  • Information is provided on the Iowa Open Records Law, along with contact information for all public records officers.[8]
  • Local taxes and fees are detailed.[9]

The bad

  • Individual department web pages do not consistently provide the names and contact information for key administrative officials.
  • Taxpayer funded lobbying information is not provided.

Budget

The FY 2011 budget contains total expenditures of $634,213,831. This is a decrease of 15.7% from FY 2010.[10] Revenues similarly equaled $634,213,831.[11]

Public employees

Elected officials

The City elects a nine member City Council, including a Mayor. The Mayor and three City Council members are elected at-large, while the remaining five are elected from individual districts.[12] Members are:[13]

Name Title District
Ron Corbett Mayor At-large
Don Karr Council member At-large
Ann Poe Council member At-large
Chuck Swore Council member At-large
Kris Gulick Council member 1
Monica Vernon Council member 2
Pat Shey Council member 3
Scott Olson Council member 4
Justin Shields Council member 5

Administrative officials

The City Council appoints a City Manager, who serves as the chief administrative official of the City. The City Manager carries out the policies of the Council.[12] The current City Manager is Jeff Pomeranz.[14] He was appointed in September, 2010, and had previously served as city manager for three other cities. He is only the second City Manager in the history of Cedar Rapids.[15]

A full list of city departments can be found here.

Salaries

Information on city employee salaries is provided online by the Iowa Press-Citizen. 2010 information lists 20 employees earning over $100,000 in salary. City Manager Jeff Pomeranz reportedly earned a salary of $165,000.[16]

Pensions

City employees participate in the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System. Employee contribution rates to the system stand at 4.60%, while the city contributes 6.65% of an employee's salary. Pensions are vested at four years of employment.[17]

Taxes

The City property tax rate for FY 2012 is 15.21621. The City also collects a sales tax of 1%, implemented for five years in 2009 to help fund flood relief efforts.[9]

Lobbying

Information is not provided on taxpayer funded lobbying efforts.

External links

References