After last month's record-setting floods, the process of cleaning up is well underway. The process of rebuilding, however, is only just beginning.
In an effort to make the rebuilding effort work efficiently, as well as provide for a wide-ranging variety of input from across the state, Gov. Chet Culver has issued Executive Order No. 7, establishing the Rebuild Iowa Commission. The commission will report directly to the governor and the Legislature this fall with regard to the effects of the storm and making recommendations for how to assist the recovery.
The governor's order also includes a provision for the commission to appoint special task forces to examine nine specific aspects of the recovery and rebuilding effort: housing, flood plain management and hazard mitigation, infrastructure and transportation, economic and workforce development, cultural heritage and records retention, public health and health care, long-term recovery planning, agriculture and environment and education.
Furthermore, the application process for these task forces is open to all Iowans. The application is a simple two-page document available on the Rebuild Iowa Web site, at http://rebuild.iowa.gov. The application deadline is this Friday, July 25.
It isn't often that government entities open up an application process for such a prominent and important organization as this to an entire state. That Culver and the Legislature have chosen to do so is very much to their credit and should be applauded. This presents a unique and valuable opportunity for citizens across this state to be heard and have an impact.
Given the singularity of this opportunity, we also encourage members of the Ames and Iowa State communities to apply for seats on these task forces and make your talents, knowledge and experiences available for the betterment of the community, the future of the state and in service to your fellow citizens.
Time is short, the need is large. The large concentration of academic, engineering and community-minded people in this community are precisely the type of people whose talents this state needs most at this time.