MUSCATINE – During a “Coffee with the Mayor” event Saturday morning, Mayor Diana Broderson announced her intention to seek re-election to her position as mayor of Muscatine during the Nov. 2 election.
After six years serving as mayor, Broderson commented that the city has made great strides, but that she feels her work is not done. She discussed campaign goals with about 10 people who attended the meeting in Fuller Park. Several people attending asked her to give them campaign signs.
“I want to win re-election and finish what we started and come out the other side making sure everyone has a voice and that your opinions are respected,” she said. “I feel like when I started down this path as mayor, I had worked with many families at the Y and really tried to help- empower them and advocate for them and give them an opportunity to lift their voice as to what their opinions are.”
Broderson said that during her time as mayor there have been many strides forward. She said there is a new city administrator who works with city employees and elected officials, saying “we are a team now.” She also said that the feel at city hall is different, strong and there is no back-biting or competition.
An outside firm has also been hired to create a strategic plan which returned with plans that Broderson said she had wanted to do all along which is “customer service.” She hopes the staff and officials remember that they are public servants and are should serve the people. Broderson also commented that several changes are being made to city code, such as changes to nuisance ordinances.
She commented that she had some rough road during the three terms she has serve. Broderson's first term as mayor was fraught with controversy, as the Muscatine City Council voted her out of office in May 2017, claiming she willfully violated city code. A month after the removal vote, a district court judge reinstated Broderson, and later a judge ruled the council's removal was a violation of the mayor's right to due process. During the following election, Broderson was re-elected mayor in November 2017.
During the COVID-19 health crisis, Broderson lead the charge in Muscatine to keep people safe and informed. She turned to social media to do regular updates – many times daily – on the latest information being released by the Muscatine County Public Health as well as the national healthcare professionals. She did many press releases to make sure needed information was being distributed.
“My main goal was to see the people of Muscatine as safe and to address the needs of both families and local businesses,” she said.
Also during the time, the council initiated a forgivable loan fund for small business in the city to give small business needed funds, in many cases to be able to remain in business.
Broderson also said she wants to see the Grandview Revitalization Project through to the end. She said the program will work with the entire community to aid the southern entrance to the city and work with the diversity of people there and not have Muscatine be fragmented. She commented when she was growing up people talked much differently about the south end of Muscatine than they do today. She has worked to bring the area into Muscatine in a way that celebrates the differences between people in a way that is still respectful to each other.
In mulling over the decision on whether to run again, Broderson said she had considered whether she had accomplished all the goals she had made when she decided to seek the office.
“I feel we are close but there is still a bit more work to do,” she said. “I think I still have some work to do and some input to give. We are on such a good path right now with everyone working together – even bringing in the county and school board and hopefully everyone is on the same page.”