Newly elected Mayor and council sworn in at last meeting of 2019
BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – It was a short and bitter sweet meeting for former Mayor Brad Randolph and city councilman Chris Greenwald.
The two ended their terms after 14 years as councilmen, mayor pro-tem, and mayor.
The two have run tandem since being elected in 2005, with Randolph being appointed mayor after Steve Ireland’s death in 2012. Randolph was re-elected to the post each time, until he decided not to seek the office again in 2019.
Greenwald was first elected to the 2nd ward, but then switched to first ward councilman in the 2011 election after purchasing a home that was annexed into the city in the first ward.
Also at the meeting, newly elected Mayor Matt Mohrfeld was sworn in by Randolph, as were incumbents Kevin Rink and Chad Cangas, and newly elected 1st Ward councilwoman Rebecca Bowker and 3rd Ward councilman Tyler Miller.
Greenwald took time during the councilmens’ comments to thank the entire staff and department heads for their service and said despite banging heads on issues, he leaves with total faith in their abilities to run the city, and started with Police Chief Mark Rohloff.
“First of all it was a matter of public record that when we first hired you, chief, there was folks that felt that there was no police chief that was going to satisfy a couple council members,” Greenwald said.
“And I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that I might have been one of those being talked about. As you live and breathe, you’re proof that that just wasn’t true. I thank you and your wife for coming to Fort Madison.”
Greenwald said he and Fire Chief Joey Herren had interesting times and he’s earned Greenwald’s respect as a fire chief, as has Sarah Clendineng, the city’s librarian.
Greenwald then addressed Building Director Doug Krogmeier.
“Doug, your job sucks,” Greenwald said to laughter from the crowd. “You do a great job at it. I don’t know how you do your job. I try to put myself in your shoes….I don’t know how you do it.”
He said city finance director Peggy Steffensmeier has handled budgeting well, and said there was questions whether he trusted city staff with budgets.
‘If budgets were easy we wouldn’t need councils,” he said. “Everybody sitting up here is doing what they think is best for Fort Madison, we just have different ways of looking at it.”
The other councilman thanked Greenwald and Randolph for their service to the city.
Randolph said he would be meeting with department heads before the end of the year one on one.
“I would like to thank first of all the citizens for their support they’ve given me in my tenure on council,” he said.
“I’d also like to thank the volunteers we appoint year over year that occupy boards and commissions that come in on their own free will and do what they feel is best for the city.”
He thanked the employees of the city for providing services and keeping quality of life at its best so the citizens can continue to enjoy the city.
“I would also thank the department heads for their help and support over the years and would echo Chris’ comments with the chief of police. I think you fit in extremely well with our community in the short time you’ve been here. You’ve been nothing but impressive, and you are matching the tenure of those sitting with you because they do a great job as well,” Randolph said.
He thanked the council and said it’s been an honor and he’s looking forward to watching them take the city to the next level.
He then got emotional thanking Matt Mohrfeld for stepping into the role as Mayor and making his transition easy. And then pointed to his youngest daughter in the audience who came to the meeting, as the rest of his family had to attend another daughter’s sporting event out of town.
“I want to thank my daughter….,” Randolph said through tears. And then after a brief pause moved the discussion to other councilman.
Mohrfeld then presented Greenwald and Randolph both with plaques for their service.
“I’ve always been a supporter of these two. Chris has been very good when I came on the council and giving me insight to issues,” Mohrfeld said.
“And I could only aspire to to be the quality of mayor Brad is. I think his leadership to the council, to the citizens and southeast Iowa – when you go somewhere with Brad he’s well-respected among his peers and he puts a very good face on the city of Fort Madison. I can’t say enough about the job you’ve done, and I’m going to miss you guys.”