The Hot Beat


The second-day story, with your help. Call Gazette reporter Adam Belz at (319) 398-8273 or e-mail him:

Houser vs. Machacek

It’s the big one.

We had both of them up in the newsroom this week for editorial board meetings. The muckety-mucks (yes, that includes Todd Dorman) will decide who they want to endorse in the election.

I do not help make endorsements, but I sit in on the meetings to see what I can glean.

So, Houser and Machacek came in for back-to-back interviews on Tuesday.

Here’s what it appears to come down to.

Houser: The county runs well, I do a very good job and all Machacek has to go on is “making a mockery” of county government by exploiting the salary issue.

Machacek: The county runs reasonably well, but Houser is a “career politician” who doesn’t contribute to a mediocre governing discussion run by “Lu and Linda” (Barron and Langston).

He’s not the first Republican to say this. Houser has countered that talking doesn’t equal thinking, an assertion that’s difficult to disagree with.

Houser is more anxious to move out of Westdale than Machacek is, who thinks three years there is realistic. Houser advocates for a joint government building “in the downtown area” that would inspire “community pride.”

Machacek is a farmer, and he mentioned county roads. Houser lives in Cedar Rapids, but he also hammered on roads: He brought it up several times without being asked about it, flourished paperwork littered with figures, expounded on the Road Use Tax and Gas Taxes, and talked about the possibility of a local option sales tax to sink money into those rural roads. Machacek liked the idea too.

On salaries, Machacek said $50,000 per year would be more than adequate. This is where the “mockery” comes in. Houser said the salary controversy in January and February was “purely political.” Being a supervisor is “absolutely” a full-time job. Machacek doesn’t dispute this, just says it should be paid a lot less than it is.

The two guys are running against each other in District 5. That’s Walker, Center Point, Palo, southwest Cedar Rapids and Fairfax. The election is Nov. 4.

Filed under: Uncategorized

2 Responses

  1. Joel Miller says:

    For the record, the Board of Supervisors’ offices are located in the Palmer Building – not Westdale Mall. To their credit, the Board holds their public meetings in the Conference Room Center in Westdale Mall.

    Right after the majority of county offices moved into Westdale Mall, Supervisor Houser told me and others that he wanted to locate his office in Westdale, but he’d been advised not to move in by the assistant county attorney after Supervisors Barron and Langston decided they would not move into the Mall.

    Supervisor Houser’s advocacy for a downtown location for county offices may be proof that Board members can set aside the interests of the District voters who elect them for the common good. Afterall, Westdale Mall lies within Supervisor District #5 – the very District Houser is seeking to win on November 4th.

  2. j hutton says:

    houser did not warn people in his district & has not been by us since or during the flood ???

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