Three people are running for the Ward 5 seat on the Keokuk City Council: Michael Greenwald, Barb Haas, and Steve Rairden. Haas said she entered the race because she's always been interested in politics and because she has the time to devote to her city.
**NOTE - Haas spoke with Tri States Public Radio prior to the most recent vote by the Keokuk City Council to tear down the former Unitarian Church**
Haas said she was born and raised in Keokuk, so she remembers when there were multiple large industries in town that were locally owned. She said that's no longer the case, so if elected she would work with the city administrator to recruit high-tech companies to Keokuk, partnering with Southeastern Community College to train the potential workers.
Haas said she believes the city council was right to hire a city administrator and move the position of mayor to part-time status because of the need for professional management and oversight.
She said the biggest challenge facing the city is two-fold: getting people from outside the community to come in and invest in Keokuk, which would grow the property tax base, and reversing the negative attitude some people have about the city.
Haas said she's willing to listen to anyone in the city and bring their concerns to the city council, not just those from within the fifth ward.
Early voting is underway in Keokuk ahead of the November 7 general election.
Current 5th ward alderwoman Sandy Pollitt did not seek re-election.