Monica Vernon is running for Cedar Rapids Mayor in 2017.
Service to the City:
- 6 years Mayor Pro Tem. 2010-2016
- 8 years Cedar Rapids City Council. 2008-2016
- Served as a key leader during the 2008 flood including:
- Reacted immediately during the flood to ensure safety of people, to ensure resources, to ensure that council understood the severity, to ensure that the City was talking to all who could be of assistance to Cedar Rapids.
- Worked with Council to set new goals and priorities for flood recovery – citizens, businesses and organizations, and public facilities.
- Worked with Council to ensure that information was being shared with the public through news coverage at least twice a day.
- Worked with local, state and federal elected officials to make sure they knew the severity of the flood.
- Served as a key leader bringing the city back after the 2008 flood including
- Traveled the state for months after the flood to make sure that lawmakers and others understood the severity of the flood and would be ready to help Cedar Rapids during legislative sessions and through other means as well.
- Secured record high federal assistance for small business.
- Raised the buyout levels for homeowners to 108% of pre-flood value.
- Worked with historic preservation to rebuild/restore what was possible.
- Worked with the state and federal government to:
- Secure assistance for single family and multifamily housing;
- Secure small business loans and help retrofitting steam to natural gas;
- Secure dollars for rebuilding city facilities such as city hall, the city services building, the library, recreational facilities and many others;
- Secure dollars and plan for Veterans Memorial Building; and,
- Secure dollars for cultural facilities such as the Paramount, CSPS, the convention center, the amphitheater and many others.
- Worked to ensure the New Bo City Market could locate on the old soup factory land owned by the city.
- Worked to ensure high quality market rate and affordable housing for citizens including supporting the building and retro-fitting of over 15 buildings.
- Chaired the Personnel Committee of the Council that hired City Manager, Jeff Pomeranz.
- Worked to get “Committees of the Council” so that Council began developing and passing ordinances to steer the city.
- Chaired Development Committee of the Council pushing for economic development, and capital investments in developing and redeveloping our business districts and neighborhoods. Worked for neighborhood and economic development.
- Served over 10 years on City Planning and Zoning Commission. Served as chair or vice chair most years.
- Served over 5 years on Metropolitan Planning Organization. Two years as chair. Organization works with Cedar Rapids, Marion, Hiawatha, Robins, Fairfax, Ely and Linn County to spend 5 million federal dollars a year on transportation that benefits all.
Service to the Community:
- Chair of the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, 9 years on the board.
- President of the Junior League of Cedar Rapids. Was a leader in building the Madge Phillips Homeless Shelter for Women and Children.
- Four Oaks Board Member.
- Jane Boyd Board Member.
- Helped mediate numerous projects including New Kernels Stadium, Xavier High School, New Bo City Market, Bond Issue to Repair Schools, and Keeping the 1st Ave East Hy-Vee.
- Strategic planning for Freedom Fest, Foundation 2, Ice Arena and others.
- Led Des Moines and Washington DC trips to lobby for Cedar Rapids area needs for more than a decade.
Business and Economic Development Background:
- Founded Vernon Research Group in 1987 in Cedar Rapids. Built it to 24 employees at its peak. Conducted domestic and global product-to-market research for John Deere, Pella Windows, Rockwell Collins, and others. Additionally, conducted customer satisfaction research for colleges and universities, cities and counties, health care institutions and regional service and economic development organizations.
- Researcher/consultant at Frank Magid Associates.
- Director of Public Relations at Mount Mercy College.
- News Reporter at the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
Developed first Entrepreneurial Marketing class for the John Pappajohn School of Entrepreneurial Excellence at the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business. Taught the course for 8 years.
MBA, College of Business, University of Iowa
BA, School of Journalism, University of Iowa
Regis High School, Cedar Rapids
Monica is married to Cedar Rapids native, Bill Vernon.
They have three adult daughters: Natalie, Frances and Eleanor.
Monica in the News: