My journey, which began on a small dairy/hog farm in Northern Iowa (Osage), has led me to a career in technology and a deep appreciation for the community of Norwalk. My passion for technology blossomed during high school and college, culminating in a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Northern Iowa. Over the past 20 years, I've had a successful career in IT. I've worked with two outstanding financial companies, Principal and Athene, where I currently serve as Vice President of IT.
In 2014, my family and I made Norwalk our home, and in 2015, we built a new house. Norwalk's potential for transformation in the next 5-10 years is undeniable, and I'm eager to be part of this exciting period. Having lived in various communities, I bring diverse perspectives to Norwalk's growth and development. I deeply love this community, and I see my family's future here for many years to come.
Norwalk faces unique strengths and challenges as we navigate this pivotal period. I firmly believe that our town's future success relies on embracing change while preserving our cherished traditions. As a city councilman, my commitment is to advocate for forward-thinking solutions that will benefit Norwalk residents. Together, we can shape Norwalk's transformation into a place where everyone can thrive.
Join me in this journey to build a better Norwalk, where innovation and tradition go hand in hand, creating a community we are all proud to call home.
I grew up in a small town in Iowa, Eldora. I graduated with a BA in Business from Central College. For 22 years I worked with people to grow spiritually - in both a collegiate and church setting. Prior to moving back to Iowa seven years ago, I was a pastor at churches in Paramount (immediately east of Compton) and Long Beach, California for ten years. Currently, I'm the Director of Advisor Success at Foster Group, the largest Registered Investment Advisor in Iowa. My wife, Emilie, and I have been married for 23 1/2 years and we have three children - Joe, who is a junior at Central College playing soccer, Jack who is a freshman at Central College running Cross Country and Track, and Pearl, who is a sophmore at Norwalk and involved in multiple sports, choir and show choir. Much of my connection to the City of Norwalk has been through the activities (music and sports) of our kids.
I am running for City Council because it's something I watched my Grandpa and Dad do in Eldora, the town I grew up in. It was just something you did as a person who cared about the community you were living in. I've also had a number of conversations in the past few years with people who encouraged me to consider this. I've gotten to know many of the City Staff in the past two years through my involvement in Planning and Zoning and my appreciation for who they are, the quality of the work they do, and the comprehensive plan has only grown. I genuinely look forward to the opportunity to partner with our City Staff in the pursuit of the goals outlined in the plan. My goal is to work with City Staff to pursue the goals of the Comprehensive Plan - great housing, great employers, great school, great city services, and, in general, a great place to live. I believe there's a way forward that respects and values our small-town past while being intentional about how we grow.
I'm Jeff Caldwell, I am 44 years old and have lived in Norwalk for almost 15 years. I'm originally from a small town in Western Kansas and currently work in agricultural marketing and media. This is a job that requires me to comfortably communicate sometimes complex topics and issues, as well as interact with a large number of different demographics (though farmers and ranchers are my favorite, being an old farm boy myself). I have two daughters who attend Norwalk Middle and High School. In my time here, I've made a lot of close friends - many of whom I consider family now - and have watched their kids and families grow up as I've done the same with my own. This community is my home and I'm excited to help forge a bright future for Norwalk moving forward as a member of the City Council. I feel prepared and ready to lead, especially given the awareness of community issues I've been able to develop over the years, something I feel compelled to employ in helping lead Norwalk as a member of the City Council. I like to laugh, make things fun and have been labeled a "challenger" in my profession; I will deliver this - who I am - to the Norwalk City Council.
Norwalk is at a pivotal juncture right now, with meteoric development changing the community immensely. Any such evolution needs strong leadership to ensure that development meets current and future residents' basic community needs (public safety, education, etc.) as well as creating things like new amenities to add even more value to calling Norwalk home. A rapid pace of development sometimes creates conflict among different parties, like longtime residents and developers. I feel it will be my job as a member of the City Council to work strategically to ensure such conflict doesn't start to begin with, or is resolved quickly to the benefit of the entire community.
Every member of the community has a voice, and I consider my job on the City Council, first and foremost, to be a listener. I want to listen to everyone, then apply common sense in considering their needs in the context of what is best for Norwalk and its future. Much of my professional work comprises of conducting interviews, and then applying what I learn from those conversations to specific deployments of content. I don't see the City Council's work as much different; it's all about listening to the community and applying what we learn from those conversations to guiding Norwalk's future practically, responsibly, well-informed and with firm roots in common sense.
Finally, I want to restore decorum to the rulemaking/policymaking process. Too often, political sides are drawn, regardless of the issue. And that posture launches disagreements based not on what's right for a community but what serves a political ideal or base. I've been a Republican. I've been a Democrat. I have voted and shaped my own ideals according to the party lines in the past, and I see the fallibility of such an approach as it relates to city-level leadership. I think independently and view every issue affecting Norwalk residents through the lens of practicality and common sense.
Take the issue of local taxes. Are they high? Absolutely! Do we need to pay taxes to fund local necessities like public safety and schools? Yes. So in this case, I will always work to explore ways to ensure responsible tax revenue spending, practical development that contributes to the community's tax base and ultimately lightens the tax cost load on residents. Doing so - and ensuring residents know we're doing so - will not only encourage even more responsible development down the road, but also create confidence among residents that their city's leadership is attentive to their needs and is working on their behalf. Because to me, that is what this position on the City Council is all about. Our taxes are high, but with the right steps and action moving forward, we can lower them. I am 100% confident that can happen. But it will take a lot of hard work, and work that may not be the easiest and most comfortable in the world. But I'm no stranger to hard work, and I will do what I can to make that happen.
I'm excited at the prospect of being part of the Norwalk City Council. I have massive respect for past and current Council members, and feel I can contribute to the Council's work in meaningful ways that help shape a bright future for Norwalk and its residents. New leadership and ideas - which I feel I can deliver to the Norwalk City Council - help make that happen. And that is what I will deliver: passion for the community, common-sense and practical ideas, and a forward-looking approach that will help make Norwalk a vibrant community for my children and generations to come.
My name is Ed Kuhl, I am a Christian, husband of 52 years, father of three and grandfather of nine. I have been a police officer for 40 years and am the retired Police Chief for the City of Norwalk, as well as a retired member of the Army National Guard and Reserve with 28 years of service. I was raised on a farm. I have been active in the Norwalk Community, former President of the Norwalk Area Chamber of Commerce, former District Commissioner of Boy Scouts, former President of New Life Lutheran Church and an eight year member of the Norwalk City Council. I have served on various committees for the City. I have degrees in Criminal Justice and Public Administration.
I believe my experience has allowed me to make valuable contributions to our community's future and my retired status makes me more available for those duties. I certainly enjoy the position and my interaction with the public, staff and other officials. I want to continue the success of our economic development by increasing our commercial tax base and continuing to enhance public safety, create parks, as well as repair or replace our streets, water and sewer systems. Each year I have voted to reduce our tax mil. levy and as our tax based expands, will continue to do so. I am well experienced in and understand City operations and the legal requirements that must be met. I have served as Liaison to the Planning and Zoning Commission, Board of Adjustment, Library Board, Park & Recreation Board, Metro Area Waste Board, Metro Area Water & Sewer Board and City/School Committee. I think it best not to turn over the Council majority to a brand new inexperienced group but instead prefer those two new members gain experience while working with the majority of experienced members as we have many significant projects and agreements that are in process now. I would like to see them through. I would appreciate your vote.
I was born in 1962 and raised in Greene County, Iowa, and have lived in Norwalk since 1996. I graduated from Iowa State University and have been the Executive Vice President at City State Bank for about 28 years. Previously, I worked at Hawkeye Bancorporation and Iowa Department of Banking. I served on the Norwalk Board of Education from 2002 to 2015 and was honored to receive the Norwalk Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award in 2000. My wife, Michelle, and I have two adult children and a dog, Jojo, who runs our lives.
Why am I running for City Council? Civic responsibility. My parents taught my siblings and I, by example, the importance of participating and giving back to the community. We have a wonderful community with a vibrant economy and high quality of life. Norwalk is one of the few communities in Iowa experiencing substantial growth which brings unique opportunities as well as unique problems. I believe my time on the Norwalk Board of Education has given me valuable experience with high growth issues associated with a government entity.
Three ways to destroy Norwalk's quality of life would be poor community planning, becoming an unsafe place to live, and having a substandard school system. Thankfully this is not the current state of affairs, but would explain my strong advocacy for ongoing community planning implementing the vision of the citizens, properly-sized and high quality police, fire and emergency medical services, and cooperating with the Norwalk Community School District.
In conclusion, the current City Council and staff have done excellent work in these areas. If elected, I will continue to support such efforts and have the experience to deal with new issues as they arise.