116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Oct. 13, 2021 5:00 am, Updated: Oct. 13, 2021 3:25 pm
Laurie Goodrich, Hai Huynh, Mike Knudson and Cindy Riley are running for three seats on the Coralville council. ► Get to know the other candidates
Name: Laurie Goodrich
Office sought: Coralville City Council (incumbent)
Age: 55 (born June 17, 1955)
Occupation: Staff member, Athletes in Action at University of Iowa
Have you held office before? If so, what office did you hold?
Yes. Two terms Coralville City Council.
Personal bio: My husband Jim and I came to the University of Iowa to start a faith-based athletic organization in 1984. It’s been a great career working with bright young student-athletes.
Our three children grew up attending Coralville schools, West High, and off to college. We think they have grown into some pretty amazing adults who married awesome spouses. Our son who graduated from medical school at Iowa is a Lt Colonel in the Air Force. Our daughter and her family have a chemical-free-home-products-business and adhere to physically-fit-lifestyle-practices. Our youngest son and family are in their 6th year living in N Iraq. They speak Kurdish and Arabic and work in relief and development to the refugee camp populations. We have nieces and nephews adopted from Liberia, El Salvador, Philippines, Texas, ND Sioux – For years, we have embraced ethnicity and cultural diversity in our family. Likewise, I am at ease that Coralville is a diverse population with a small-town atmosphere.
Why are you running for city council?
As a longtime resident of Coralville, I embrace the task of being an active member of the City Council. and count it a privilege to give back to the community that has provided so many opportunities to our family as well as all families in Coralville. We have a diverse group of city council members right now and I believe we've worked well together. I will continue to offer reliable, visionary, common sense leadership.
How do you rate the city’s current performance? What areas are going well, and what could be improved?
Coralville’s census has grown to 23,578! Our city, with a small-town atmosphere, is diverse and progressive! As a Coralville Comprehensive Community Plan Steering Committee member, I am confident that each area of the City will develop over many years according to the needs of the community. I rate the City's current performance as outstanding! Much is occurring during Covid-19! Along with Coralville leadership and staff, our council has adapted to ever-changing protocols throughout this pandemic in order to continue the services and maintain a sense of well-being that we have all grown to expect. Coralville remained open, providing the services. City services such as public safety, transit, water, sewer, and garbage pickup continued because we adjusted schedules and put stringent safety protocols in place. We even provided recreation opportunities (keeping the pools and library open) and had childcare for employees and essential workers. On top of the pandemic, the Derecho storm caused unprecedented damage that was systematically picked up, cleaned up by our streets and parks department employees almost all within a week! Planning and building projects continued not without challenges, but we keep working. Hats off to our administrators, human resources, and finance department for monitoring this situation that continues to linger. I love this 'can do spirit'!
What are the three largest issues facing the community and what will you do to address them?
Economic Development is essential to a city's well-being using sound fiscal management.
Of course, monitoring and updating the Covid-19 recovery situation continues. I support using American Rescue Plan Funds in a sustainable strategic manner.
The City of Coralville's employment is solid, but our community's workforce is suffering, as it is in many parts of the country. I support the cooperative work we do with the Iowa City Area Business Partners, ICAD, and various non-profit organizations.
Public safety is so important! I am confident and proud of our police and volunteer fire department. We are embarrassing new strategies for the recruitment of qualified individuals as we grow. Unlike other cities, all of our officers and many first responders train under the CIT (Crisis Intervention) Program. A county ambulance is housed at our north fire station now for greater access. I represent Coralville on the Johnson County Access Steering Committee. Called the GuideLink Center, this new facility opened its doors in February to anyone who wants and needs immediate behavioral health care.
If you were forced to cut the city’s budget, how would you approach these reductions? What areas would you look to for savings and why?
We will continue the services our residents have grown to expect. Water, sewer, trash, fire, police, transit - We will always hold strong to that commitment.
We would probably have to be open fewer hours at the recreation center, library, and center for performing arts. Of course, I don't believe we will need to do that.
What new policies might you propose for the city to enact? Why do you think they are necessary?
I value the opportunity to make decisions regarding policy and ordinance and right now we are up to date. It becomes difficult when the state and federal governments place restrictions on the city's local control. From fireworks to Airbnb's, to fire and police issues, oftentimes our hands at the local level (where we have unique situations and needs) are tied. I want legislators to know that high authority pre-emption pulls local authority from cities.
Are there quality of life improvements that could be made in the community? What are they and how would you fund them?
We have a robust recreation program but with changes in people's lifestyles, we have seen a greater need for spaces for recreation. The various types of walking/bicycle trails are being used and enjoyed by people more than ever. I would love to see some sheltered, but outdoor, basketball courts. Natural environments /public spaces eventually need upkeep due to weathering, erosion, and general use. I am extremely pleased by the work our staff does with budgets to fund reserves, apply for grants, and state and federal programs.