Thompson reflects on time as mayor

The mayor of Marshalltown who served three terms throughout the 90s and the current term, will step down after December.

Tommy Thompson was the mayor of Marshalltown from 1992-1997. After the death of Mayor Gene Beach in 2012, he was asked by council to come back and fill out the balance of Beach’s term.

After a landslide victory in the election in November 2012, Thompson became mayor.

“My vote was more than 60 percent so it was very encouraging,” Thompson said.

Throughout his time as mayor he has seen Marshalltown grow and has been a part of what makes Marshalltown the city it is today.

From 1992-1997, Thompson said his major accomplishments as mayor was getting the city out of financial trouble and the Lennox expansion.

“In the first term, there were major financial problems in the city because of some investments the advisory group made for the city,” Thompson said. “We worked through those problems and got our investment money back and not the interest so that was an accomplishment.”

In 1993, Thompson helped bring more Lennox production to Marshalltown.

“I chaired a committee that went to the Lennox corporate office to get them to make a decision to consolidate heating and air conditioning production in Marshalltown,” Thompson said. “That was accomplished and brought about 500 new jobs to Marshalltown.”

In his latest term, Thompson said his goal as mayor was to complete the objectives of Beach.

“He did a very good job and did a lot in his tenure,” Thompson said.

He said several important things came out of this term including the Alliant Energy power plant, the completion of the street improvement program, major decisions to go through with sewer improvements and the updates of storm water rates.

He also said the decision to go forward with a new police and fire department that came out of the 2012 planning session is also important.

“I emphasized that this year in all of our discussions,” Thompson said. “Hopefully the decision of the site and location can be completed and we can see that go forward in 2014.”

Thompson has lived in Marshalltown for many years. He said it’s a very good community.

“People are willing to come forward on a volunteer basis and are willing to serve the community,” Thompson said. “I think that’s exemplified by the last election where we had 10 people as candidates.”

He said the economy is strong and there have been good changes made to the school system.

“The changes that we’ve seen in the school system in terms of emphasis on reading by third grade and the new STEM program that is going on in the high school is very significant,” Thompson said.

He said there are other things to look forward to in Marshalltown.

“All the other things that we see going on in Marshalltown in terms of a new hospital possibly, the Catholic school adding a new facility and the hopeful commitment the citizens made to get a new police and fire station, is very important to the community,” Thompson said.

Jim Lowrance will be sworn in as mayor for the next term at the end of December.