Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

August 16, 2013

Mayor Anthony won't seek reelection

By Steve Woodhouse Editor
The Journal Express

---- — Pleasantville Mayor Jason Anthony has decided to not seek reelection this fall. Anthony said he believes it is time to move on. He has other commitments, including a teaching job and acting as assistant coach for a semi-pro football team out of Des Moines.

Though he’s not going to seek the office of Mayor again, he is proud of what the town has accomplished and is still working on.

The transition to welcoming City Clerk Rachel Reed has gone well. Reed is a former Bussey City Clerk who came to Pleasantville a few months ago.

The City of Pleasantville is still working with Marion County on the future ownership of the Memorial Hall. Anthony said there is not much new to report on that front, though inside the Hall, several more plaques and photos of fallen veterans are filling the entry’s new Wall of Fame.

A renewed effort is underway to improve the Gladys Black area of the City Park. Anthony says a lot of credit is due to Pleasantville’s Garden Club and Lions Club for their beautification efforts around town. The groups have flowers adorning the downtown area of Pleasantville.

The City continues to work on its plans for street improvements, including Jasper Street. Nothing definite was planned before last Thursday.

Anthony said he and the council were “catching their breath” after a busy summer, including June’s Pleasantville Pig Out and the City’s annual Independence Day festival. He said the City is planning to take another look at the town’s comprehensive improvement plan to try to focus on a new group of projects.

Meanwhile, Pleasantville is seeing new home construction and its summer recreation leagues posted strong numbers. With all of these projects in motion, Anthony believes it is a nice time to walk away and contribute to the City in other ways, outside of the Mayor’s Office.

Anthony will remain Mayor until the end of 2013. As Mayor, he welcomed and guided Congressman Dave Loebsack on a brief tour Thursday afternoon.

Loebsack has a tie to Pleasantville. The town’s city manager/police chief, Joe Mrstik, was a second grade student of Mrs. Teri Loebsack years ago.

Anthony showed Loebsack the Memorial Hall and introduced him to Legion Commander Dennis Harkin. Harkin showed off the improvements made to the hall, offering credit to Dennis Murphy and Gordon Mecham for the work that has been done.

As the tour progressed, Anthony shared a great deal of the town’s history, including the fires that have consumed the downtown area. This is where Smokey Row in Pleasantville earned its name. Loebsack stopped in Smokey Row, Pleasantville Grocery and the Checkerboard Restaurant to meet more local residents.

Loebsack thanked Anthony for the tour. In closing, Anthony said that no matter what Pleasantville has or will accomplish, “It’s about people.”