Letter to the editor: Matt and Mary Kate Pilcher Hayek endorse candidates in Iowa City’s elections

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Voters head to the polls at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center in Iowa City on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Matt and Mary Kate Pilcher Hayek, Iowa City

On Nov. 5 (or before), voters in Iowa City and throughout the Iowa City Community School District have an opportunity to shape our community’s future.

In the contested Iowa City City Council race, we support Laura Bergus and Janice Weiner for the two at-large spots. Bergus and Weiner are experienced, intelligent and deeply committed to this community. Both will contribute sound judgment to council deliberations.

In the school board race, we support Paul Roesler, Shawn Eyestone, Lisa Williams and Michael Tilley. These candidates do not have identical ideologies, but they share a genuine commitment to education and a solid understanding of the district. Until public schools receive adequate funding, the ICCSD will continue to bridge gaps with innovation and sheer determination. Roesler, Eyestone, Williams and Tilley have the skill set and judgment necessary to support our students and our teachers, advocates, paraeducators, counselors, principals and other staff.

Good governance on the city council and on the school board is incredibly important. We urge you to take the time to vote.

Editor’s note: The authors are partners in the law firm Hayek, Moreland, Smith & Bergus with Iowa City Council candidate Laura Bergus.

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  1. Matt Hayek was a terrible mayor who did nothing positive for the community while shoveling tens of millions of dollars in to Marc Moen’s pockets. His endorsements shed light on who Not to vote for.

    1. I have a some of very compassionate friends who liked Weiner and felt that, based on her experience, she made an excellent candidate when she ran for office last year. I support her in this election. Though I do agree that leadership has been significantly lacking in previous councils, giving rise to unaffordable (mainly luxury) housing in Iowa City. I still remember the “aggressive panhandling” ordinance passed in 2010, which affected the culture of the downtown…it created a space less accessible for spontaneous public art (one of those unintended consequences). But something tells me that Janice would be dedicated to addressing these issues.

      1. Thanks for the reply. I agree that Janice is a good choice and intend to vote for her. I don’t believe that an endorsement from Hayek provides anything of value though.

  2. These are all candidates who should be elected. They have all shown the many positive ways they are committed to the city and/or to the students in our district. We are fortunate to have such positive, forward looking people running for public office in this era of negativity and confrontation.

  3. Whether Matt Hayek’s endorsement and past Council history does or doesn’t provide anything of value (per Yossarian) in voting for City Council is up to the individual to decide. For me, community / civic involvement and clear statement of what each of the three candidates stands for are most important. Both Janice Weiner and Megan Alter have extensive civic experience; Janice with her impressive State Department / Foreign Service profile, Megan as a current commissioner on the Iowa City Housing Commission, board member of the Iowa Women’s Foundation, and involvement with many Southside neighborhood and development groups. Until recently, Laura Bergus’s main civic accomplishments seem to be a seat on Film Scene’s board of directors, and a seat on the Iowa City Telecommunications Commission, which to my knowledge never accomplished much.

    As for what each candidate stands for, both Alter and Weiner have clearly articulated positions on expanded public transportation, increased community “green initiatives”, exploring expanded child care services in partnership with local businesses, and economic growth not only within the current downtown district, but more importantly within the Southeast and Northeast areas of Iowa City. Both are also endorsed by numerous local labor groups, as well as some current Iowa City council members and Johnson County supervisors.

    In following the Bergus campaign, I’ve yet to hear her clearly state a position on anything, with the exception of her constant theme of “streamlining The Process”. From what I gather both speaking with her and listening to Bergus in public, “The Process” appears to be what Bergus views as micromanagement by current Council members; her position is City Council needs to quit questioning what the city manager and associated staff present to them, and rubber-stamp what’s put in front of the Council. I believe this is what her current business partner and Council were noted for, and what has cost Hayek credibility (and his endorsement, with regards to Yossarian) in some people’s eyes.

    1. I apologize for the typos / clarity in my final paragraph above. What should have been the final sentence above:

      I believe this is what her current business partner and his Council were noted for, and what has cost Hayek credibility (with regards to Yossarian) in some people’s eyes.

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