GREENFIELD — Despite a pandemic, Jimmie Schultz is pleased with the teamwork that resulted in several projects being completed in Greenfield in the last year, his first as mayor.
Schultz took office Jan. 1 last year with several projects that were started on former mayor Ron Smith’s watch left for a council under his leadership to finish.
“It was quite an eventful year, let’s put it that way. It was a big, big learning curve, but everybody was helpful. It was good to work with the city council. We all seem to be on the same page,” Schultz said. “That made all those things happen.”
During 2020, the council saw projects like the street project and ordinance codification come to completion. The street project cost the city $1.26 million and was paid for with debt service and local option sales tax funds. The ordinance codification is a process of updating, adding and removing ordinances as needed.
“The engineer and contractors took care of most of the street project. There were just a few things we had to do with it. That went smoothly as big of a project it was, I think, and the streets look nice now,” Schultz said. “Finishing the ordinances felt good. I think we went in the right direction.”
Another project completed last year was the offering of housing grants through Southern Iowa Council of Governments. Six residences were approved for funds that will lead to rehabilitation work and there is a waiting list of others. Schultz is excited for the “big interest” there was in this initiative.
Schultz is also excited for new playground equipment that is currently in storage here and is due to be erected at the city park once nicer weather arrives.
Another project was that Greenfield Chamber/Main Street’s office moved into the City Hall/Library Building after sewer backup damaged their previous home just before COVID-19 hit.
One issue Schultz commented on that he would like to see improved in the next year is keeping police officers here. Greenfield recently lost Brennan Leonard as an officer after hiring two officers this year and is hiring for a replacement. Public Safety committee members Rod McMorran and Nancy Antisdel are currently working with other city officials, like Police Chief Jeff LaBarge, to vet applications for the currently vacant officer position.
“Hopefully we’re going to turn the corner with that,” Schultz said. “We’ve got applicants and some interest for this next time around. Testing and elimination will begin on that soon.”
When he took office, Schultz said his main goal was to work with everyone at finding solutions to the things the city council facilitates and to be a listening ear to the community. He’s proud of the teamwork the city council has put forth and looks for that to continue.
“I had concerns going into this year because this is nothing I’ve really ever done. I think the transition has been good. Everybody’s been helpful and I try to keep an open ear to everybody,” Schultz said. “We need communication, whether we’re doing something wrong, doing something right or need to improve on something. I think that will help the community.”