Dubuque city council contenders make final pitches to voters before Tuesday’s election

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 10:42 PM CST
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - People in Dubuque’s First Ward will vote on Tuesday on who they want to fill the open city council seat: Susan Farber or John Pregler.

Farber is the owner of a local restaurant, Magoo’s Pizza, and has worked in high tech for large organizations both nationally and overseas.

“My experience with organizations both large and small, I think, will bring a needed perspective to the council table,” Farber said. “The shoulders become very broad and it is just a great way of learning how to deal with a variety of people, a variety of cultures, and to have wonderful debate and conversation where nothing is personable but everything is focused on results and serving, not only the customer side, but also the company that you work for representing.”

If Farber joins the council, she said her priorities will include public safety and keeping Dubuque’s economy flourishing.

“Training and retooling workforce of all ages to help create the best possible outcome for Dubuque as we establish, past this pandemic, a stronger local economy,” Farber said. “When it comes to public dollars I am on the side of spending it appropriately as needed, as required and I believe that there has to be compromise based on project needs, size, and anticipated return on investment.”

This is Farber’s first time running for elected office.

John Pregler also wants the seat. He has run for city council before and lost by 92 votes against Brett Shaw, who held the Ward 1 city council seat before moving out of Dubuque. Pregler does have experience working in government since he has served on the city’s Long-Range Advisory Committee for ten years.

“So I have been engaged and reviewing every annual budget since then,” Pregler said. “My entire career, 25 years, has been working directly with local, county, state, and federal government.”

Pregler said a top priority is addressing what he calls the high cost of living in the city.

“My biggest concern right now, especially after a year of COVID and how hard our economy has been hit, is the fact that we have about 42 percent, or 24,000 of our 58,000 neighbors here in the city of Dubuque, that are either retired or living in poverty, or are disabled, they are struggling with the rising cost of living,” Pregler said.

Pregler added he hopes to have a seat at the table when city budget discussions begins.

“The city council’s budget has both residential property taxes raising and also has our sewer water and storm drain utilities all raising,” Pregler said. “Plus the city council is advocating in the local sales tax from 7% to 7.5%, so there is tremendous pressure on our cost of living.”

Polls will be open on Tuesday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

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