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 23: The one about the COVID-19 financial impact| Listen on Sound Cloud
Released July 28, 2020
Summer is rolling along and we have another episode of The Square for your listening pleasure! This month we talk to Erin Mullenix, the League's Research Director, who provides a rundown on the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on city finances. We discuss the various revenues that are projected to decline as well as expenditures that may be affected. Erin also shares findings from recent surveys of cities that measure the local financial impact of the pandemic.

Erin was gracious enough to stick around for the Get to Know Your League segment, which is always a fun listen.

We encourage cities to utilize resources we have available online to help respond to the pandemic, including our COVID-19 Finance Tool that can help gauge local impacts. Take care and join us next month for another episode! 

Episode 22: The one with Strawberry Point City Administrator Alison Osweiler | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released June 5, 2020
How does a native of Southern California end up as the city administrator in Strawberry Point, Iowa? Find out in this month's episode of The Square! Alison Osweiler, who joined the city in 2016, talks about her interesting journey to Iowa and to municipal government. We talk about what it's been like to manage a city during a pandemic, some of the city's plans for reopening facilities and programs, ideas for making adjustments to the city budget and what it's like living on a farm. Thanks to Alison for the fun conversation! 

 
This month's Get to Know Your League features Sara Shonrock, who serves in a joint role with our friends at Iowa State University Extension and leads the Municipal Professionals Institute and Academy. Sara is a native of Ames who got lost in Minnesota for a few years before making the wise decision to come back home!

We hope our communities are doing well during these challenging times, and as always, your League is here to support you! Contact us at thesquare@iowaleague.org with any questions or comments you may have. 

Episode 21: The one with Carlisle Library Director Stacy Goodhue | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released April 30, 2020
The Square is back with a new episode! Enjoy a fun interview with Stacy Goodhue, who serves as the library director for the City of Carlisle. We actually recorded this prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Stacy's thoughts on the importance of public libraries rings true now more than ever. Hear what it takes to run a city library and the various programs and services they provide - you may be surprised at how much libraries do for a community! 
 
We are also joined by Emma Kline, the League's Administrative Assistant, for the always entertaining Get to Know Your League segment. We wish all communities good health as we continue to respond to the pandemic, and encourage our members to access a variety of helpful of resources at www.iowaleague.org.
 
Take care and we'll talk to you soon on The Square! 
 

 

 


Episode 20: The one about COVID-19 | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released April 7
, 2020
The Square took a break from its regularly scheduled interviews to talk about COVID-19 and the impact it has on city governments in Iowa. We cover some League news, including adjustments we have made thus far to scheduled in-person workshops and how we will continue to operate through remote working. We also discuss some of the critical issues cities are facing currently, including the use of electronic meetings to get city business handled. The episode then wraps up with some of the positive stories cities have shared with us that illustrate some wonderful ways communities are coming together to support one another during this trying time.

Be sure to check out our Coronavirus Resources page to access a wide variety of helpful information. ​​
 
Episode 19: The one with Grinnell Police Chief Dennis Reilly | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released 
February 25, 2020
Buckle up your seat belts! The Square chats with Grinnell Police Chief Dennis Reilly for an insightful discussion on community law enforcement and the critical role police departments play in our cities. Dennis shared some of his background of growing up in New Jersey and starting out as a police officer before eventually working his to becoming a chief of police, as well as how he landed in Iowa. We also talk about the many jobs of a city police department, which go well beyond writing tickets as police officers are instrumental in effective community engagement.
 
We are joined by Robert Palmer once again for our monthly Legislative Update and sit down with IMWCA's Andrew Justice for the Get to Know Your League interview. We also talk about the value of planning in our Question of the Month. 
 
Enjoy the episode and be sure to send any comments or questions to thesquare@iowaleague.org!  
 
 
Episode 18: The one with Solon's Scott Kleppe | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released January 28, 2020
Our first episode of 2020! It's a new year, a new decade and we have a new edition of The Square that features a very interesting discussion about municipal public works. Scott Kleppe, Solon's Public Works Director, joins us to chat about how a city's water and wastewater system works. For those who have wondered how water gets to their faucet, or what happens when you flush a toilet, give a listen and find out! Scott also shares some of his background and how seeing his grandfather do city work gave him first introduction to public works. 
 
We have a new segment to go with the new year as we get our Legislative Update with the League's General Counsel and Director of Government Affairs, Robert Palmer. Hear about the latest issues at the State Capitol important to city officials. And we also sit down with Scott Smith, IMWCA's Senior Loss Control Representative, for the Get to Know Your League interview. 
 
We wish all cities a happy new year and we look forward to working with you! Send us your questions and feedback to thesquare@iowaleague.org.


Episode 17: The one with Mayor Tom Lazio | Listen on Sound Cloud​
Released December 20, 2019
Happy holidays! The Square closes out 2019 with an interview of Tom Lazio, Ottumwa Mayor and President of the League Board. We learned some interesting things about Mayor Lazio's career before he entered public office and how that helped prepare him to be an effective mayor. He also shared some of the great work they're doing in Ottumwa, a few of their goals for the future and what he hopes to do as League President.

This month's Your Questions Answered asks about cities' ability to set their own council meeting rules of procedure, something we strongly encourage all cities to have. And the League's Senior Accountant, Alison Deiter, joins us for the Get to Know Your League segment. Alison's pay our bills (and issues paychecks to staff) so we took it easy on her!

As usual, we wrap up with the answer to last month's trivia (which county in Iowa has the most cities) and ask a new trivia question: what is the lowest temperature recorded in Iowa and where? Send in your trivia answers, questions to stump our staff and other feedback to thesquare@iowaleague.org. Enjoy the holidays!

Episode 16: The one about city names | Listen on Sound Cloud​
Released November 25, 2019
It is a busy time for the League as we are visiting various cities for our Budget Workshops and Municipal Leadership Academy. So, we decided to have a little fun with this episode with an idea that sparked during our travels. We have 942 great cities in Iowa and each has a unique character and some have a unique name. We discuss our favorite city names and attempt to pronounce them right! This is meant to be fun (and funny)! We hope no one takes offense if their city is mentioned or doesn't enjoy the humor in a funny pronunciation or story behind the city name.

This month's Your Questions Answered asks if there is a recall process in Iowa for elected positions and our Get to Know Your League interview features Jess Vogel, the League’s Communication Coordinator.

We also cover last episode's trivia question, which asked what year did the League's Municipal Leadership Academy begin? (We may know the official date?!). If you do not know what MLA is, make sure to check it out on our website! It is a fantastic training opportunity for newly elected and for veteran officials. In addition, we offer some new trivia: what county has the most cities?

Send your trivia answers, questions and feedback to thesquare@iowaleague.org!​

Previous Episodes (see all episode descriptions on our SoundCloud page)

Episode 15: The one about the 2019 Annual Conference & Exhibit | 
Listen on Sound Cloud​
Released October 31, 2019

Episode 14: The one about training | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released August 28, 2019

Episode 13: The one about safety | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released July 25, 2019

Episode 12: The one about our favorite city slogans | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released June 18, 2019

Episode 11: The one about the 2019 legislative session | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released May 29, 2019

Episode 10: The one about nuisance abatement | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released 
April 29, 2019

Episode 9: The one from Colfax | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released March 25, 2019

Episode 8: The one from Atkins | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released February 21, 2019

Episode 7: The one to kick off legislative session | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released January 10, 2019

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

Episode 5: The one with Jim Thompson from IEDA | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released December 3, 2018

Episode 4: The one where we talk to Scott Naumann | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released October 22, 2018

Episode 3: The one about the 2018 Annual Conference & Exhibit | Listen on Sound Cloud
Released September 25, 2018

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

Episode 1: The one about Home Rule with Bob Josten | Listen on Sound Cloud​
​Released July 25, 2018 
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