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Open World Russian Mayors and Leaders
June 7-15, 2013

Eight participants, two facilitators and two interpreters participated in this event.

Friday June 7 – A dinner was held to give our members an opportunity to meet and welcome our guests to our community.

Saturday, June 8 – A trip to Dubuque gave our guest a sample of Iowa sites ofi nterest including the National Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque. A buffet lunch with Dubuque’s mayor Roy Buol was enjoyed at Diamond Joe Casino followed by astop at the Field of Dreams on the way home.

Sunday, June 9 – This was a family day that included lots of shopping.

Monday June 10 – The day started at the Linn County Court House and a meeting with the Board of Supervisors. There, they had an informal dialogue about regional government and mental health funding responsibility followed by a tour of the Administrative Building and the Juvenile Justice Center. After lunch at Class Act, the group met with Kirkwood Community College leaders: Manager of Iowa Jobs Creation & Local Government; the Vice President of Continuing Education & Services; Kirkwood Training & Outreach Services; Start Up – New Businesses and Kirkwood President. They discussed the Iowa Community College System.

Tuesday, June 11- The group met at Marion City Hall with Jeff Schott, Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Iowa to discuss Iowa Property Tax Formula, a method method used to finance Linn County Municipalities & School Budgets. A discussion of State, County and Municipal government was held. Marion Superintendent, Dr. Katie Mulholland, and the Board of Education held a discussion of Iowa School Systems. Marion’s Mayor Snooks Bouska and City Manager Lon Pluckhan held a discussion on Marion Municipal Government, Today & Tomorrow. Plasma Arc Gasification did a presentation on using solid waste as energy. The day ended with presentations by Marion Chamber of Commerce President Jill Ackerman and the Marion Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO.)

Wednesday, June 12- Rob Phelps, Clerk of Court, gave the delegates a tour of the new Federal Courthouse. The tour was followed by a discussion with Senator Charles Grassley, Senator Tom Harkin and 2nd Bruce Braley. Over lunch they met with Cedar Rapids Metro Alliance’s Executive Vice President to discuss Chamber of Commerce International Affairs Activities & Economic Development. Grant Wood Area Education Agency gave them an overview of how they assist schools and they met with the Mayor of Cedar Rapids. The evening ended with Salsa Lessons & Dancing.

Thursday, June 13 – A trip to Des Moines included meetings with the Iowa League of Municipalities, Governor Terry Branstad and the Iowa Economic Department. On the way home the group met with a Meskwaki Tribal Member to learn about how the tribe is run and had an Indian Taco meal at the Youngbear’s home.

Friday, June 14 – Different members of the community presented information on job sharing, finance, legal, data processing and management. A farewell dinner closed the evening and the journey.

Saturday June 13 – Members saw our guests off at the airport and wished them well. Hope was expressed that their area of interest might be impacted by what they learned during this experience.