For new Granger Mayor Cathy Fuson, the future is all about understanding and managing the city’s growth.
Fuson, a 10-year city council veteran, was elected in Tuesday’s vote, replacing outgoing Mayor Tom Schenck. She’ll assume office at the January 8, 2014 council meeting.
The city of Granger, Fuson notes, recently completed a comprehensive plan to better understand where to expect the city’s growth to continue in the future.
"There’s no doubt that significant growth is going to continue," she says. The object, she says is to avoid the sort of sprawl that has overtaken other communities. She notes that the city sits astride both Dallas and Polk counties. She points out that in addition to the traditional city boundaries, the city now has three active housing developments,
Granger, she says, has the advantage of being close to the Des Moines metro area but is still able to retain the feel and atmosphere of small town life. And that’s what makes area attractive to newcomers. Indeed, she says, the opportunity to make a difference in a small town is what led her to join the council in 2003. When her health care job was eliminated last year, she felt she now had the time to devote to the mayor’s job.
One important area of concern to Fuson, is the need to constantly improve communications with residents. Citing a water quality concern earlier this year, Fuson notes that some area residents were frustrated because they had no simple way to tell city officials that there water issues were more severe than previously thought. The improved Granger website is one solution.
"We need to tell people about problems; let them tell us about problems and tell people what we’re doing about them," she said.