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Mayoral candidates meet voters before special election

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There was plenty on the table for the three mayoral candidates in North Liberty on Monday night - just eight days before a special election to find Amy Nielsen's replacement.

Current mayor Terry Donahue (appointed by city council vote on February 28), city councilman Chris Hoffman (who lost to Donahue in that February vote), and Matthew Pollock (whose petition filed on March 1 triggered the special election) answered questions from a group of around 60 people during a candidate forum at the North Liberty Community Library.

Whoever wins the job will only hold the position until November - when the general mayoral election will be held.

While the candidates actually saw eye-to-eye on several topics and the current state of the city, all have their own visions of the future - and what the position of mayor will be.

"We've got very interested people. You're gonna have to shake out the information that's been asked by numerous organizations and see what's there," Donahue said following the forum. "I think my overall plus is the amount and breadth of experience that I've had, as far as being an administration, a past council member, a current council member, and a mayor in the past down in Creston, Iowa."

"As a city councilor, I've been able to help and make decisions on their behalf over ten years," Hoffman said. "It's going to be really important that a mayor knows what city councilors are going to be facing in years to come - and I think I'm in a position and uniquely qualified to help them make those decisions - to serve as a mentor to them, but also help them build some consensus."

"I'd just like people to know that the mayor position is to hold city council accountable - and they're the voice of the people here in our community," Pollock said. "They're not necessarily the end-all decision-maker, so they work very well with the council to make sure everything that happens is in the best interest of everyone in North Liberty."

A city council seat is also on the ballot in Tuesday's election - the seat vacated by Donahue when he was appointed mayor in February. There are seven candidates vying for that seat - four more than ran for it in November's election.

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