During an interview Friday morning with the Adair County Free Press, new city council member Rita Eble looked out onto the streets of Greenfield’s historic downtown district and could list off several reasons she loves her hometown.
Eble decided to mesh that passion for seeing Greenfield succeed with her familiarity with local government in joining the city council. She was appointed to the council during their Tuesday, May 9 meeting, filling a vacancy left by Suzanne Wagner, who resigned recently.
Eble will occupy that seat at the council table until the November election. It is then that she will be able to run for a full term.
“I didn’t know if they’d hold a special election or if they were just going to select someone. I wrote a letter volunteering my time, so now here I am,” Eble said.
A former Southern Iowa Council of Governments employee, Eble has now worked for the Iowa Finance Authority for about 20 years. It is there that she has grown her familiarity with local governments.
“I got a feel for government and know how hard government employees have to work. There’s so much to know,” Eble said. “I used to do codification [at SICOG] and transportation planning. Right now, I work with projects all over the state. I’ve just always been very interested in government. I mainly work with low income housing.”
Sewer projects and nuisance ordinances to strengthen the community’s housing situation are a few things Eble would like to learn about early as a council member, as she sees these as crucial topics.
Housing is an area Eble is understandably passionate about. She is glad to see Greenfield received a rehabilitation grant a few years back that is in the process of being utilized. The city also has received a downtown revitalization grant it will begin seeing the fruit of on the west half of the square.
“I do think we have some housing needs that we need to meet. You have to have housing for people to come here. It’s kind of a vicious circle between the chicken and the egg,” she said. “We do have to have decent, affordable housing if we want families to locate in the community. That increases the tax base, and it keeps going. We just need to keep our small town going.”