MUSCATINE, Iowa–In mid July, Muscatine resident Jim Edgmond announced he plans to run for Mayor of Muscatine. At the time this story went to press, no other individuals had announced their candidacies.
After graduating from the University of Montana in 1978 with a bachelor’s of science degree in Civil Engineering, Edgmond took a job with Stanley Consultants. Edgmond worked for Stanley at two separate points in his career for a total of 20 years of service. During his time with them, he helped work on the creation of the original soccer fields at the Muscatine Soccer Complex and spent stints doing projects in Chicago as well as oversees in North Yemen.
Edgmond also worked as the city engineer for several cities including Wheeling, Illinois and Sullivan, Missouri as well as Muscatine. During his five years as Muscatine City Engineer, after two years of doing contract work for the city, Edgmond oversaw work on Mississippi Drive, Second Street, and part of the Cedar Street resurfacing project, as well as some work on Colorado Street.
Outside of his work, Edgmond married and now has two children and three grandchildren. In his retirement, Edgmond and his wife continue to live in Muscatine where she operates a travel agency. An advocate for clean water, Edgmond plans to help his longtime friend and former Muscatine resident Hank Kohler raise money for the National Mississippi Museum & Aquarium by accompanying him on part of his canoe trip from the headwaters of the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.
Though Edgmond only recently announced his intent to run for mayor, he has wanted to run for office for much of his adult life. Shortly after finishing college, Edgmond made a list of eight career goals he hoped to achieve and included running for office as his final goal.
If elected, Edgmond would like to focus on getting members of the city council to work together for the common good of city residents. “The mayor’s job is to get everyone rowing in the boat going in the same direction,” he stated.
To that end, Edgmond hopes his leadership would encourage council members to spend more time exploring the items that come before them to make better informed decisions. “The big accomplishment would be to get items that come up get discussed more and researched more, and to give city council a framework to work through things.” While Edgmond served as city engineer, he felt surprised at how infrequently council members asked questions about agenda items and how few they tabled for further discussion.
As a way of fostering more discussion about different issues facing the city, Edgmond would also encourage the city council to consult with city staff more frequently, saying he would like to see them, “involving staff more in meetings than they’re currently involved.”
Finally, Edgmond would like to bring greater transparency to the mayor’s office. He elaborated, “The mayor needs to be more accessible, so I would have regular office hours at city hall.”
Edgmond believes his platform of encouraging city government to investigate all their options to come to the best decision for city residents will resonate with many voters. He also hopes to make his longtime goal of holding office a reality.