The field of candidates is now set for the Iowa City Council election in November. Incumbents Pauline Taylor, who represents District A, and District C’s John Thomas are both unopposed, and there are three candidates for the two at-large council seats: Megan Alter, Laura Bergus and Janice Weiner.
Both at-large positions are open seats in the election. In April, Mayor Jim Throgmorton announced he would not seek reelection to his at-large seat. Rockne Cole, another at-large councilmember, decided in July not to run for another term.
Megan Alter is a manager in test development at ACT, who is also active in the South District Neighborhood Association as well as the Black Voices Project and Big Brothers Big Sisters, and serves on the board of the Iowa Women’s Foundation.
“While the current council has made good progress on issues affecting a rapidly growing city, Megan wants to be bolder in order to build a more inclusive and equitable city,” read a statement Alter released in April to announce her candidacy.
Laura Bergus, an attorney, is managing partner of the Hayek, Moreland, Smith & Bergus law firm. She’s also does pro bono work through Iowa Legal Aid’s Volunteer Lawyer Project. Bergus served for nine years on the Iowa City Telecommunications Committee, and is currently a member of the board of directors of the Community Foundation of Johnson County. She was a founding member of FilmScene’s board of directors, and serves as the board’s secretary.
“Local government should be fair, accountable, and transparent. I will keep focus on policy and planning, not micromanaging,” Bergus said in a statement in April. “The role of city council is to listen to citizens and staff, exercise judgment and discretion, and to set the strategic plan. I will help Iowa City stay on target for a just, sustainable, and equitable future.”
Janice Weiner is a retired diplomat, who spent 26 years in the U.S. foreign service, including postings in Canada, Mexico, Turkey, Germany and Poland. In 2018, Weiner ran for the open Iowa Senate seat in District 37, which covers parts of Iowa City, Coralville and western Johnson County, as well as Cedar County and a small slice of Muscatine County. She was defeated by Zach Wahls in the Democratic primary.
“I’m running because I care deeply about this community and all its people, including those who have been underserved by the city,” Weiner said in a video announcing her candidacy. “If your housing is substandard, if your roads are in need of repair, if you can’t get to your job because there is no bus that runs when you work, your voice matters and I will listen to you.”
The filing deadline for the Nov. 5 election for Iowa City council was 5 p.m. on Thursday. Iowa City Council member terms are four years. All registered voters in Iowa City can vote for both at-large seats.