In late January, Dyersville Mayor Jim Heavens was part of a delegation of mayors from across the nation who took part in a summit in the historic East Room of the White House.
Heavens said he wasn’t sure exactly why he was selected, but he was one of two mayors from Iowa to make the trip. He joked that maybe someone in the Trump administration was trying to score tickets to the MLB game at the Field of Dreams this August.
The event, titled Discussion with the Nation’s Mayors on Transforming America’s Committees, featured 13 speakers, including President Donald J. Trump himself.
The discussion covered a broad variety of topics including the booming economy, the opioid epidemic and the need for housing, but Heavens said one of the biggest impressions he left with is that the national media’s coverage of Trump administration isn’t telling the whole story.
“Contrary to what you see on TV with the foolishness that’s going on with impeachment, there is a lot of good government going on within this administration — it’s a lot more bipartisan than you would think it would be,” Heavens said. “I think the people in the trenches are honestly trying to get something done on a bipartisan basis.”
To positively transform communities across the nation, the Trump administration is attempting to pare back some of the bureaucratic hurdles in place that hinder federal funds from getting to the people most in need.
As a government official who has read through his fair share of federal funding applications, Heavens said he is all too familiar with how much red tape is wrapped around any project that wants to utilize federal funds.
“That was music to my ears,” Heaven said. “They said ‘tell us what you need, we’ll get it done, you implement it and we’ll get out of your way.’”
Heavens said part of his motivation for making the trek was to familiarize and network with some of the administration officials who could award Dyersville funds to aid in the building of the 12th/13th Avenue bridge.
“I think it was good to get our name in front of some of these decision-makers,” Heavens said. “I think, for the most part, you can come away with the feeling that underneath all the distractions at the forefront, there are a lot of good things going on there — it was very well run.”