Mayor Ron Corbett thanks Cedar Rapids at last Council Meeting

Mayor Ron Corbett with a plate of fresh kolaches outside Sykora Bakery in Czech Village during his effort to promote local business in the 2016 flood zone. Supporters say Corbett, who leaves office January 2nd, never stopped trying to help the city and its residents

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) - Mayor Ron Corbett is on the job until a new city council is sworn in January 2nd, but the passing of the torch began Tuesday. At a reception and dedication prior to his final city council meeting, Corbett was greeted by scores of well-wishers, friends, family members and politicians who have known him for decades. Applause filled the third floor hallway as a covering was lifted to unveil Mayor Corbett’s portrait which joins other city leaders through the decades.

Mayor Corbett told the gathering it’s been an incredible honor to serve the community and receive the trust and support of so many voters. Lynn Stansbery smiled and applauded, saying she had to be here for the mayor’s last meeting. In 2008 her Ellis Park neighborhood was devastated under 8-feet of water. She says when the Cedar threatened a repeat performance in the fall of 2016 and the evacuation began, she looked out to see Ron Corbett on her front porch, “ He is probably one of the most honest politicians I have ever met my whole life. He came to see if we were okay and to see if he could do anything. He helped the lady next door who just had shoulder surgery, he helped her put sandbags by her house and he didn’t even know her. I called him when we needed help moving our furniture back in and he said I’ll be there in an hour and a half and he was.”

Many in the business community who witnessed the devastation from flooding downtown and others who worked with Corbett on the council say he was the right mayor at the right time. Council Member Scott Olson says Corbett has made his six years both fun and rewarding as he showed strength, but also respectful leadership, “ It’s been a very positive environment, we respect each other’s opinions even though we don’t agree on some of the issues and he’s made that possible.”

Mayor Corbett says there are a few regrets and items which did not move as quickly as he hoped, but he says flood protection, street improvements and a positive spirit are moving Cedar Rapids forward, “ It’s a great story of resiliency, you know of grit, of people really bouncing back from something that was just a terrible tragedy. Having this special front row seat has been really exciting and it’s something that I’ll always cherish and remember for the rest of my life.”Ron Corbett will now focus on his run for Governor as Brad Hart is sworn in as the new Cedar Rapids mayor at the next council meeting.

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