Letter: Take an interest in city elections because the issues affect you

Aaron Kassen

Many students may not realize it, but there is a city election coming up, and the outcome will have an impact on them. The 4th Ward, which includes the campus dorms and the west campus neighborhood (north of Lincoln Way), is about one-half students. Dr. Frank Jeffrey, founder of the local solar module manufacturing company PowerFilm and a graduate from Iowa State, is one of the candidates, and I recommend that you take the time to vote for him. I have known him for a number of years and believe he would fairly represent students’ concerns. While students frequently believe that city elections don’t affect them, I present two examples of city issues impacting student life.

One of the major items was the LANE4 Campustown renovation project. Rebuilding would have required removing a large number of businesses that currently serve students, and the rent in the rebuilt Campus Town would have been beyond what most student oriented businesses could afford. The overall effect would have been to significantly limit goods and services that students now take for granted. While this program died, there is still a need to improve Campustown, and students have a stake in how it is done.

Another major issue was the rental housing code which added a number of new and occasionally expensive requirements on older rental houses and will increase in cost of rental housing for students. Through the year of debate student renters had no voice. Some of the new requirements could be considered quite reasonable and an improvement in quality and safety, but others were simply restrictive and expensive. Students need to have their positions considered.