Lundell becomes first candidate for Coralville mayor

Longtime city council member says Fausett's resignation opened a door

John Lundell of Coralville. (Nikole Hanna/The Gazette)
John Lundell of Coralville. (Nikole Hanna/The Gazette)

Coralville City Councilor John Lundell officially announced Tuesday his candidacy for Coralville mayor after a decade on the council.

Lundell’s announcement Tuesday follows Coralville Mayor Jim Fausett’s decision not to run for reelection this November after 50 years of service to the city.

“It’s such an honor to have the opportunity to run for mayor,”Lundell said Tuesday. "Mayor Fausett has done such a great and wonderful job. I wouldn’t even consider opposing him because he has been such a good mayor over the years for Coralville.”

The 33-year resident of Coralville said with his term on the council set to expire this year, he was faced with the decision on what to do next. Lundell said Fausett’s announcement opened a door.

“It’s an opportunity that I didn’t want to let go by,” he said.

As mayor, Lundell, 57, 403 Holiday Road, said he hopes to continue to expand the city’s services and economic growth opportunities and partnerships. He also said he's optimistic about working with citizens to develop a new community plan, which he hopes will reshape the direction of the city.

Lundell was first elected to the council in 2003 to fill the vacated seat of Iowa House Rep. Dave Jacoby and has served as mayor pro-tem sine 2009.

Coralville Mayor Jim Fausett said Lundell had approached him to discuss Lundell's potential candidacy, which he supports.

"I think he'll be a great leader and I fully support John and I'm pleased he's decided to go ahead and run for the office," Fausett said.

He acknowledged several accomplishments during his tenure on the council including economic development initiatives like the Iowa River Landing, expansion of the research park, redevelopment of old town Coralville, 2008 flood recovery efforts, and good public safety services.

"I see Coralville continues to be a very dynamic city, certainly not stagnant in any respect," he said. "I see myself (as mayor) as a leader of that activity and to continue to be the number one promotor of our great city."

Although City Administrator Kelly Hayworth wouldn't comment on Lundell's decision to run, he said the city councilor knows the city very well and has remained very involved with several community programs.

Hayworth said whoever steps into the seat needs to have good communication with both the community and the staff to ensure clear guidance on the city's vision. He said it's also important for the next mayor to be very engaged with the community.

"He (Fausett) spent a lot of time dedicated to this position and I think that's one thing for the next person to consider," he said.

Fausett said he feel's Lundell has great leadership skills including the ability to related well to people, listen to citizens, and that he always "does his homework" before voting on a council matter.

"To me, he has qualities that I hope a mayor would have," Fausett said, adding he felt the two share similar values.

Lundell is a University of Iowa alum and has served nearly two decades as the deputy director of the UI Injury Prevention Research Center within the College of Public Health and remains active in several organizations throughout Johnson County including service on the Johnson County Emergency Communications Center Policy Board.

His wife, Diane, also served on Coralville's city council where she retired in 2001 and is an assistant vice president for marketing and communication for UI Health Care. They have two living children.Lundell is the first to announce his intent to run for mayor. The filing period for mayor and city council candidates will remain open through Sept. 19.

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