CEDAR RAPIDS — A City Council member who advocated reinstating Cedar Rapids’ affordable housing commission and spearheaded a pedestrian safety ordinance to deter panhandling along Interstate 380 exits announced on Tuesday he is seeking a third term on the Cedar Rapids City Council.
Scott Olson has represented District 4, which encompasses much of the northwest quadrant and a portion of the southwest quadrant, since 2011. The municipal election is Nov. 5.
“We have important issues beyond flooding to focus on,” said Olson, 73. “We can get down into areas such as safe neighborhoods. Affordable housing is something I want to work on.”
Olson, a commercial broker who’s been a licensed Realtor with Skogman Realty since 1993, said he consulted council colleagues and city staff about the decision to run and received positive feedback. He said he anticipates, if he wins, his third term would be his last.
Olson also twice ran for mayor, coming up short in 2005 and 2017.
As chairman of the City Council’s infrastructure committee, Olson worked on strengthening stormwater policies and creating a topsoil ordinance for new developments to help with water quality and aesthetics.
Among his top priorities are creating a year-round homeless shelter and establishing a senior center, he said.
“We can make it work,” said Olson, who has an architectural background and served in the U.S. Army.
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Olson, who owns several properties and is involved in various developments, has faced questions about conflicts of interests. Olson noted he has managed conflicts by declining some private sector business and by abstaining from votes involving matters where he has a financial interest in his elected position.
Olson is one of four council members whose terms expire at year’s end. Ann Poe is seeking re-election to her at-large seat. Susie Weinacht, who also holds an at-large seat, and Scott Overland, in District 2, have not yet announced plans.
The filing period to run for council is Aug. 26 to Sept. 19. The part-time council position pays $18,391 annually.
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