#BOSvacancy applicant – Steve Sovern

From: Steve Sovern [mailto:ssovern@imonmail.com] Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2016 12:21 PM To: Gonzalez, Sharon; Hoy, Amanda; McCalmant, Joan Subject: Caretaker

Greetings Joan, Joel and Sharon.

First, I sure appreciate the daily challenges faced in public office.  Being the committee to decide the Langston vacancy is certainly among those challenges.

Second, it occurs to me that, should you come to consider Todd Dorman’s Gazette suggestion of a “caretaker,” I might be one that could help and would be happy to consider doing so.  It would, however, be with a clear understanding that I have no interest in continuing in the position.

Should you decide that this offer is something worth considering, here are a couple bullet points that may reasonably substantiate my selection:

  • I remain the youngest person ever elected (at age 28) to the Cedar Rapids School Board and was reelected with a substantial margin
  • From the school board I was elected to the Iowa Senate being one of very few freshman appointed to serve on the Legislative Council
  • Leaving the Senate to honor family business responsibilities, I was elected Chair of the Linn County Democrats
  • In 1980 I was the, then, Second District Democratic nominee for the US House of Representatives (unsuccessful, as you may recall)
  • I was appointed by the Supervisors to the Linn County Zoning Commission, serving as chair
  • I was appointed by the Supervisors to the, then, Linn County Regional Planning Commission, serving as chair
  • I founded an Iowa based organization to curb the influence of money in politics and was subsequently elected to the National Governing Board of Common Cause, an organization dedicated to accountability in government and reforming elections
  • During these 25 years I owned and managed a successful Linn County/Cedar Rapids business, Nesper Sign Advertising
  • In 1990 I sold the business, obtained a law degree from the University of Iowa and began a practice in Cedar Rapids
  • For the last 25 years I have specialized in the practice of mediation, training mediators and receiving the highest award from the Iowa Association of Mediators
  • My wife Bonnie, a retired Metro High School teacher, and I raised our family in rural Linn County.
  • As a graduate of Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, I have lived most of all my entire life in and around Linn County and Cedar Rapids.

Should this make sense as a possibility, know that I am able to devote full time to the responsibilities up until the seating of an elected member, with one brief exception.  Bonnie and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary with our family in ….

Also, I must continue to provide emergency mediation services to the United States Postal Service having a pattern of 10 requests per year.  These requests occur whenever a conflict develops in the Postal Service workplace anywhere in Eastern Iowa.  Sessions may be called at any time, night or day and last an average of 3 hours.  Should a need arise during normal office hours, be assured I would make up that time for the County.

By the way, Bonnie and I currently live in Water Tower Place in the NewBo District which, I believe, is within the available district.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if there is any further information I can provide.

Many thanks for your service,


Steve Sovern

Water Tower Lofts – 900 Second Street SE, #506 – Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401

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