Four years ago, Adam Hoffman ran for the Ward 4 Waverly City Council seat in a three-way race.
Even though he was fairly new to town at the time, the now 39-year-old father of three finished second. He garnered nearly a quarter of the vote, as current Councilman Mike Sherer earned 60%.
Now, citing the necessity for Waverly residents to be heard in city government, Hoffman is taking another shot. Having since moved into Ward 1, which isn’t up for election this year, he is considering whether to run for mayor or at-large City Council.
He will leave it up to his supporters to make that determination.
“We’re going to collect signatures on both petitions,” Hoffman told Waverly Newspapers by phone on Monday, referring also to Keep Waverly Moving co-founder Matt Schneider, who’s is considering a similar run. “We’re also going to listen to the citizens. The listening starts now. If someone says, ‘Adam, I’ll sign this petition, because I think you’re better suited for that, and I want you to have a vote…’ then that’s the petition that they’re going to sign.
“If I’ve got more people that sign one more than the other, that’s really the guidance that I need, that people are more trusting for me to have a vote (as council member) or not have a vote (as mayor). I’m good with that.”
Hoffman sent a statement to Waverly Newspapers on Sunday to announce his intention to run for either position — to face either Mayor Dean Soash or At-Large Councilwoman Edith Waldstein. He wrote that the voters demand better representation in City Hall.
“The community has clearly identified that the current supply of representation is rather limited,” he said. “That needs to change, should change and can change in the next term of mayor and council. This opportunity comes this November and lies in your hands with the ballot you cast.”
Last month, Sherer had announced he is not seeking a second term in Ward 4. As far as the incumbents for the seats Hoffman could seek, Soash has yet to announce his intentions, while Waldstein has told Waverly Newspapers she will go for her second full term.
Hoffman said that while the Bremer Avenue “road diet,” which reduced the number of lanes along the city’s main road that also is Iowa Highway 3 at the suggestion of the Iowa Department of Transportation, is a major point of contention in town, it is far from the only issue.
“Annual city budgets, utilities, use of eminent domain and all of the other ‘hot button’ issues we have seen over the last few years” are just as important, he said.
“The ability to engage with your local government (elected officials and staff) with dignity and respect and have it equally reciprocated needs to become the new norm. A City Council and mayor that engages in censorship rather than transparency on the sole merit that what a citizen is bringing forward isn’t agreed with is completely unacceptable.”
The 1988 Grundy Center High School graduate has degrees in emergency management and mortuary science. His work history includes stints as a security shift manager at the Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo, an EMT and emergency preparedness coordinator with Waverly Health Center, as well as jobs in law enforcement. He served as the Tripoli police chief, a lieutenant with the Clarksville Police Department as well as a deputy sheriff and a state patrol trooper in Colorado, according to his résumé.
Currently, he has a home-based position as a family service counselor with Abels Funeral and Cremation Service, headquartered in Grundy Center, helping families arrange their final wishes before the need arises. He is also an adjunct instructor in police science at Hawkeye Community College.
He also is finishing a term on the Bremer County Soil and Water Conservation Commission, where he has served the last two years as its chairman. He believes the experience he’s had with oversight of budgets would serve him well in city government.
“We tie it back to the taxpayer, because all of those programs — even though it’s at the federal level — they still impact what we do,” Hoffman said. “They do have to be scrutinized like any city project would.
“And as chair, keeping a meeting running, those types of things, is just the oversight of those operations and how they’re carried out.”
Hoffman and his wife, Brandie, have been married for 12 years. They have three children, Peyton, 12, and Brooklyn, 10, both attending Waverly-Shell Rock Middle School, and Brogan, 7, attending West Cedar Elementary.
Additionally, he is a member of the Waverly Lions Club and volunteers with Retrieving Freedom.
Hoffman said having established himself in town since his 2015 run will help him out with whichever position he decides to run for.
“When I ran four years ago, I had only lived in Waverly for a year and a half or so when I decided to do that, or maybe two years,” he said. “Becoming more part of the community, becoming more involved with things… to people know my stance and my behavior on how I can be a proponent of being positive moving forward with things.
“You just can’t come into a community from Day One and think that people are going to have a level of trust with you that (voters will say), ‘Yeah, I’ll vote for this person.’ The winning contender four years ago (Sherer) was known in the community, had a backing of some interest groups that felt he was a good choice. Yes or no, that’s not my opinion. He won fair and square.
“Things would have been a lot different had I been known a little bit more back then.”
He said in his statement that he encourages voters in Waverly to engage with him between now and the Nov. 5 election day.
“Listening starts now,” he wrote. “Being heard starts now. Being represented starts now.
“Be with me now, through the election and in January as I begin to represent you and your voice with dignity and respect.”