Marshalltown Mayor visits Morning Optimists

The Morning Optimist Club of Marshalltown held their weekly meeting June 17 at the Hy-Vee Dining Room. President John Hall opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, and then led the invocation.

A sign-up sheet was passed for the flag-raising duties that will be needed on Independence Day, July 4. Hall reminded members that volunteers are always needed, but reminded them to contact volunteer coordinator Cathy Manning if they have found their own volunteer helpers.

Hall announced that club members had helped Hoglan school to collect, trim, count, and mail in enough Box Tops for Education to earn $417 for the school.

June Program Chair, Bing McHone, introduced Mayor Jim Lowrance as the guest speaker for the meeting. Lowrance reported that 12 representatives from Marshalltown had just returned from Denver, where they attended the All-American City Conference. Marshalltown was among the top 25 cities that made presentations, but was not one of the final 10 winners of the All-American City Award. In the presentation, Marshalltown representatives showcased three current projects: the Lead Hazard Control Program, which helps families to have lead-free paint in their homes; Teach Them to Swim Program, which teaches swimming lessons to Lenihan students; and the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program.

Lowrance praised city workers for how well they handled the many frozen pipes that resulted from the unusually harsh winter. He announced that the Public Works Department has a new director. Justin Nichols is a native Iowan who left the state to work in Overland Park, Kansas, and has now returned to work for the City of Marshalltown. Lowrance emphasized that he believes in the importance of involving young citizens in committees, so they can develop the leadership skills necessary to take over city business when older leaders are ready to leave.

As for the city’s budget, Lowrance acknowledged that it was necessary to increase the levy this year, but the city is still bringing in less income as it continues to recover from the recent recession.

Hall closed the meeting and then led the recitation of the Optimist Creed. The Morning Optimist Club of Marshalltown meets at 6:30 a.m. Tuesdays at the Hy-Vee Dining Room. Guests are welcome. The club’s website is at