Iowa City City Council District B candidate Susan Mims speaks during the UISG City Council Forum in the IMU on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. The event gave students and community members the opportunity to ask city council candidates about the issues. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

City Council candidate Mims offers eight years of experience

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By Sarah Watson
sarah-e-watson@uiowa.edu

FAST FACTS

Councilor Susan Mims

Age: 60

Seat Seeking: District B

Education: University of Iowa, B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, M.S. in Industrial Engineering, certified in Financial Planning

Experience: Financial Adviser, current at-large city councilor

Mims backs affordable housing, development

A District B City Council candidate melds her experience and financial knowledge to push initiatives for the people of Iowa City.

Susan Mims, 60, is running for her third term on Iowa City City Council, and she hopes to continue and expand upon initiatives the council has done. The incumbent was elected in January 2010 to the council as an at-large member.

She moved to Iowa City in 1977 and graduated from the University of Iowa with degrees in biomedical and industrial engineering. She has worked as a financial consultant in the Iowa City area for the past 16 years in addition to her City Council position for the past eight years.

She said she brings to the table her experience with Iowa City government, and its people, and her financial background.

“The No. 1 priority is the people,” Mims said. “One thing I like to highlight is that I support the strong financial budget we must have in order to bring resources to the city.”

Her platform targets increasing transportation and job opportunities, strengthening neighborhoods, and sustainability.

With transportation, she supports reviewing what transportation services are needed the most in the community before making a definite plan. She also encourages other options such as van pools or taxi vouchers for late nights and Sundays, when there may not be enough people who need transportation to justify running bus routes.

“The challenge here is the budget; I support expanding the services that we have, but we have to find an efficient way to do that,” she said.

In terms of jobs and economic development, she said, she would like to connect more people with training and apprenticeships to support more skilled trade jobs.

“There’s not a lot of middle-wage jobs in Iowa City,” Mims said. “We have a lot of high-paying jobs at the university and a lot of low-wage jobs in the service industry as well. What we would like to focus on is how can we connect people with training and access to apprenticeships in skilled trade jobs, for example, electricians. We are working to accomplish that to help those who need employees or are unemployed.”

To strengthen neighborhoods, she wants to be able to make housing more affordable, create a better balance between rental and owner properties, and create stricter, safer housing codes.

Mims said she wants to continue the City’s 15-point Affordable Housing Action plan, which she helped work on as an at-large city councilor. The plan, approved in June 2016, includes requirements for new developments to make 10 percent of the units affordable housing.

She also supports new form-based code that allows developers to build numerous kinds of housing, such as multi-family units, duplexes, instead of just single-family homes.

“It will hopefully be a different price point, so it will offer more affordable housing across the area,” Mims said.

In sustainability, she wants to further the city’s work on its Bike Master Plan, the Climate Action Committee, reduce fossil-fuel emissions, and continue steps the city is taking to improve and expand recycling options in the city.

The biggest issue she wants to advocate for on behalf of students is bringing down the costs of attending school.

“The costs of living for students includes tuition as well as rent, food, utilities in the costs of going to school,” Mims said. “One way we are doing that is by encouraging new form based code areas that allow upward growth.”

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