Matt Walsh has a “substantial amount of direct job experience” involving all aspects of Council Bluffs city government, according to Mayor Tom Hanafan.
That’s one reason among many on why he has officially endorsed the city council member to replace him as mayor, Hanafan said in a statement released Thursday.
“I have personally witnessed his strong work ethic, and he is very effective at what he does,” Hanafan said of Walsh. “He’s a problem solver who pays attention to details. The office of mayor is not a political position. It’s an administrative job where you have to be ready to show up for work every day, Your responsibility goes far beyond being part-time.”
His own staff trusts Walsh and his visions for the city, Hanafan said, plus Walsh has job interview and hiring experience to help when key department heads retire soon.
Also impressive to Hanafan is Walsh’s community outreach skills.
“Instead of scheduling a town hall meeting and only talking to those who show up, Matt will go out and talk with people at a neighborhood association meeting, in somebody’s home or on the street,” the mayor said. “And, he’ll say what needs to be said at the time, instead of worrying that he might say something the wrong way and not get re-elected.”
Walsh can also provide area-wide collaboration, Hanafan said.
“Matt’s business connections in the Omaha metro area, his connections in Council Bluffs and southwest Iowa, are an asset you can’t find in everybody.”
Walsh is competing with former state lawmaker Brent Siegrist to replace the longtime mayor, who announced earlier this year his retirement of the post he has held since 1988.
“I’ve worked with Tom for 18 years, and we’ve worked well together,” Walsh said. “I’m proud of the fact that the man who has been our mayor for the past 25 years would think so highly of me to give me his endorsement. Tom is well respected and rightfully so. I appreciate his support. His endorsement of me means a lot to me.”
Walsh added that he has received endorsements from the other four council members.
He is a fourth-generation Council Bluffs resident and is employed as a commercial banker with Security Bank.
Among the boards Walsh has served on include, the Council Bluffs Community Schools Education Foundation, Pottawattamie County Growth Alliance, Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless, and the Iowa League of Cities.