Mayor's Message

Thank you for taking the time to visit the new state-of-the-art website for the great city of beautiful Hiawatha! We're all very excited about the new features and ease of use this redesigned site will offer both citizens and guests alike. I hope you take some time to browse it and learn more about our city.

As some of you may know, this is my first time holding public office. I have been a Hiawatha resident for over 45 years and it is also home to both of my small businesses. I'm honored to serve as your mayor and strive to fulfill my campaign promise, to maintain affordability and when possible, offer property tax relief as we find ways to tighten our budget.

The City of Hiawatha has enjoyed tremendous growth in recent years, thanks in no small part to the hard work and dedication of our city council and one of the best city government staffs you'll find in Iowa or nationwide, led by our city administrator Kim Downs. Together, we will work to ensure that growth in both the residential and business sectors continue and do not stagnate.

As a small business owner, I'm keenly aware that a city needs businesses of all sizes, big and small; to be a healthy and vibrant community that attracts both visitors and new residents. I will work diligently to ensure Hiawatha welcomes job creating companies to the area as well as the small, independently owned shops, eateries and services that have always given Hiawatha its charm and character. I will do this acknowledging the importance of retention. Our business community is a vital part of our city as a whole.

As mayor, one of my goals is to maintain our small city atmosphere with a strong focus on providing a safe community. I believe public safety is at the core of city government. To accomplish this, every department needs to continue to excel. Police Chief Dennis Marks and his staff have done a remarkable job ensuring Hiawatha remains an ideal place to raise a family and feel safe. Fire Chief Mike Nesslage and the brave men and women of our volunteer fire department provide a service and response that is as good as or better than that of the larger career fire departments in the Cedar Rapids Metro area. Both departments deserve our highest commendation and respect for all that they do for our community.

In addition to our volunteer fire department, we respect and are grateful for our veterans which is why the City of Hiawatha is supporting the Home Base Iowa (HBI) program. As a HBI community, we help connect and transition veterans with employment or schooling options. Our veterans served for our freedom, and it's only right we welcome them with supportive arms to help make their transition from solider to civilan easier.

Beyond the matters of business and safety, there's a lot of fun to be had in Hiawatha! I hope you'll take some time out of your busy schedule to kick back, relax and check out all the events and activities our Parks and Recreation staff works their tails off to put together. There are also lots of great opportunities to get out there, volunteer and make a difference!

At the end of the day, we are a city that works together to accomplish a common goal; a safe, thriving, happy community we can all be proud of.

Bill Bennett
City of Hiawatha

2021 Hiawatha State of the City Address