The Square: A Podcast from the Iowa League of Cities

 


The Square, your podcast from the Iowa league of Cities, brings current and important topics for communities across the state to your city square. 
Episodes are released monthly and available for download from Sound Cloud, Google Play, Apple Podcast and Sticher. 

 

Episode 7: The one to kick off legislative session | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released January 10, 2019
Happy new year! The Square kicks off 2019 with a special look at this year's legislative session. The episode features an interesting conversation with Kim Downs, city administrator of Hiawatha, who shares some of the important legislative issues for municipal governments, her role on the League's Legislative Policy Committee and some tips for successful grassroots advocacy.

We also chat with our very own Robert Palmer, Director of Government Affairs and General Counsel, about his role in representing cities at the legislature and what a typical day is like at the Capitol.

Get a double dose of Robert, as he is this month's featured staffer in our Get to Know Your League segment! In the Your Questions Answered segment we're asked what limitations cities have in establishing local property taxes (it must be budget season for cities).

Hear the answer to last month's trivia (what is the newest city in Iowa?), and send answers to thesquare@iowaleague.org to this puzzler: which city in Iowa had the largest increase in population from 2000 to 2010? 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 6: The one with a few of our favorite things | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released December 21, 2018

As 2018 winds down we took the opportunity to look back over the past year and recognize some big moments for the League and cities around the state. We even brought in the boss to help as League executive director Alan Kemp co-hosts to share his perspective!

We talk about some of our favorite Cityscape magazine cover photos and articles, new League events and services that stood out to us, what we remembered most from the 2018 Annual Conference & Exhibit (hint, it involves dancing), and a few other fun things. We also had Alan stick around for the Get to Know Your League segment where you can learn a little more about his path to the League, how he spends his free time and a big event that occurred in his life this year.

This episode's Your Questions Answered segment provides information on how to fill a council vacancy, something nearly all cities encounter at some point.
 
You can send your trivia answers and questions, as well as hobby suggestions for Alan, to thesquare@iowaleague.org. Happy Holidays! 
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Episode 5: The one with Jim Thompson from IEDA | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released December 3, 2018
Jim Thompson, Downtown Economic Development Specialist at the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), joins the podcast for a fun conversation about his experiences working with cities and programs at the IEDA that can help communities.

 

Jim previously served as a council member in Charles City before getting involved in economic development work, giving him keen insight into what works for cities and the challenges that so many face. Hear his perspective on what cities can do to understand their identity, make important improvements around the community and specific programs that cities can utilize through the IEDA.

In this episode's Your Questions Answered segment we dive into the differences between a city manager and a city administrator. And the Get to Know Your League conversation features a fun talk with Tim Kirgan of IMWCA, who talks about his role with the League and shares a little baseball wisdom.

As always, send questions and trivia answers to thesquare@iowaleague.org.



Episode 4: The one where we talk to Scott Naumann | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released October 22, 2018
Our fourth episode of The Square features a fun interview with Scott Naumann, Bettendorf Alderman and current President of the League Executive Board. Scott's passion for his community and local government is evident throughout our chat as he talks about how he got on the city council, the important projects that have been completed in his tenure and some of the challenges he's faced as a public official. You'll also get to know Scott a little better in our lightning round of questions and see if he answered this month's trivia question correctly. Thanks Scott for such a great conversation!

This month's Your Questions Answered segment covers a topic that nearly all cities struggle with - how to complete important city infrastructure projects. We give our thoughts on ways cities can better understand their road, utility and facility needs while making sound financial decisions.

We also have a special treat for you in this episode as our Get to Know Your League segment features none other than Bethany Crile, co-host of The Square! 

Enjoy the episode and be sure to send your questions and trivia answers to thesquare@iowaleague.org.


Episode 3: The one about the 2018 Annual Conference & Exhibit | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released September 25, 2018
We took The Square on the road! This month's episode features interviews with city officials in the Exhibit Hall at the 2018 Annual Conference & Exhibit in Council Bluffs. Hear about some cool things happening in different communities and get a feel for the networking and fun that is always part of the annual conference.

In the Your Questions Answered segment we give our take on how to best manage citizen complaints and social media comments, and in a new segment we introduce the newest member of the League staff.

Listen until the end to hear this month's trivia, and be sure to send your answers to thesquare@iowaleague.org! 

Episode 2: The one about the 2018 All-Star Community Awards | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released August 15, 2018

This month on The Square we feature stories and interviews from our 2018 All-Star Community Awards – Bondurant, Lisbon and Marion! Bondurant won in the 3,000-10,000 population category for its fantastic community entrance project that included a welcome sign unlike any other featuring 10 porch swings and a firefly lighting element. Lisbon won in the fewer than 3,000 category for its community solar project that brought solar installations to four city facilities, leading to significant cost savings and serving as an example for residents and businesses. In the greater than 10,000 category, Marion was awarded for its Uptown Artway project that features nine public a

rt installations in an underused alley that has propelled development to the city’s main commercial district.

We talk to several city officials and community volunteers, who describe the importance of quality of life, public art, forming meaningful partnerships and handling vandalism. We applaud our 2018 All-Star Community Award winners and applicants – there is a lot of great work being done by cities around the state! And if your city has done something really cool (we know it has), let us know – we’d love to talk about it on The Square and you can apply now for the 2019 awards.

Join us at the Annual Conference & Exhibit, September 12-14 in Council Bluffs, as we will formally recognize the All-Star Community Award winners. You can also participate in choosing our 2018 People’s All-Star Community by going to our Facebook page and liking your favorite projects!

Enjoy the episode, and come back next month for a special Live from the Annual Conference edition of The Square!



Episode 1: The one about Home Rule with Bob Josten | Listen on Sound Cloud​
​Released July 25, 2018
Our first ever podcast! This inaugural episode focuses on a topic near and dear to all cities: Home Rule. In Iowa, Home Rule was adopted through a Constitutional amendment in 1968, with overwhelming support from citizens across the state. That effort provided city governments the authority to establish local laws and policies without needing the approval from the state legislature. This change has led to more innovative and effective municipal governance while allowing city officials to be more responsive to citizen needs.

This episode’s guest is Bob Josten, bond counsel at the Dorsey Whitney law firm in Des Moines who served as the League’s executive director in the years immediately after municipal Home Rule powers were adopted in the Code of Iowa. We talk to Bob ab
out the transition to cities gaining Home Rule powers in those early days, why it was so important to municipal government and how Home Rule has evolved since its passage. We hope you enjoy this fascinating interview, and we thank Bob for sharing his time and expertise!

Also, be sure to give a listen to the Your Questions Answered segment for a little more info on Home Rule and how we’re celebrating the 50th Anniversary. And stick around to the end for some fun Home Rule trivia!

Visit our Home Rule page for additional guidance on this important topic and join the effort in celebrating the 50th Anniversary by issuing a proclamation!​​  

 

 
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