Coralville restaurant owner seeks City Council seat

Petsel to focus on city's finances, competition with private business interests

A restaurant owner is running for Coralville City Council, saying he wants to improve transparency and the city’s financial situation.

Dave Petsel, 57, owner of Iowa River Power Restaurant and Flannigan’s, announced his candidacy Tuesday. He said he wants city government to be more open while enacting responsible growth policies that do not add to the city’s “already heavy” debt.

“I really like the growth of Coralville, but not at the expense of the taxpayers taking all the risk,” he said.

Petsel takes issue with city-owned developments and businesses he said compete with the private market, a charge other business owners also have made. He cited as an example the restaurant at the city’s Brown Deer  Golf Club, saying it is direct competition to his eateries.

“I can’t compete if you continue to bring businesses in that compete with me that aren’t forced to make a profit,” he said.

Petsel’s positions are similar to a citizens group that has tried to raise awareness of these issues, but he said he is not affiliated with its members.

Petsel, of 720 Breconshire Lane, is married with four children. He said he has volunteered with Mayor’s Youth Empowerment Program, which serves at-risk youth and people with disabilities, and Table to Table, which helps get food to people in need.Three of the Coralville City Council’s five seats and the mayor’s office are up for election. The candidate filing period runs through Sept. 19.

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