Fairbank begins to mourn mayor, second city official to die within five months

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 6:41 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The city of Fairbank is beginning to mourn Mike Harter, who officials said died in a car crash Monday morning.

Harter was the town’s mayor. He was active in the Wapsie Valley Community School District, serving as a board member and superintendent before becoming mayor.

Sue Frost, who lives in Fairbank, said Harter was a community leader, public servant and an overall good person. She said it’s hard for the community to understand how to cope with the loss.

“Well just, you know, when tragedy strikes a small community it’s hard to know what to do or what to say to support the family and those involved,” Frost said.

TV9 found two signs across the city offering prayers for Harter’s family while city hall was closed due to “unforeseen circumstances”. The city’s librarian told us people have called asking if they can donate money or books in honor of the former educator.

The Buchanan County Auditor says the council can appoint a new Mayor or decide to hold a special election. The public could also petition to have a special election.

This is the second public official to die in Fairbank over the last five months. In March, its police chief died after fighting cancer.

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