Keokuk Mayor Gudgel looks back on career

(Keokuk, Ia.) The new mayor of Keokuk will be sworn in on January 4th.

Before that happens, we wanted to talk to the current mayor about his time in office.

Dave Gudgel has been the mayor of Keokuk for eight years.

He says he has had very many high points in his career that he his very proud of.

One of those is a long range infrastructure plan for streets and sewers, which will continue with road work next year.

A few other high points are a new aquatic center, the construction and dedication of the Grand Park Pavilion, and the creation of Keokuk's Veterans Memorial.

Gudgel is also very proud of the creation of a vision plan for the city.

"And that is a plan that's a plan that has not sat on the shelf as many plans do and garner dust. This is a plan that we are working on on a weekly basis. It's very, very important and I'm very proud of that," said Gudgel.

Gudgel says that plan encompasses every aspect of the daily living in Keokuk.

He says the lowest point of his time in office came in 2007.

He says at that time the owner of Hendricks Holdings came to Keokuk and announced he wanted to bring a wind plant to the city.

That would have brought 250 to 300 well paying jobs.

But the owner, Ken Hendricks, tragically died two months later, putting an end to that plan.

"The psyche of the citizens of Keokuk really hit an all time low shortly after that. Because that announcement that he made brought so much promise to the citizens of Keokuk. That undoubtedly is the low point of my tenure here as mayor," said Gudgel.

Mayor Gudgel says that point in his career still comes to his mind at least once a week.

He says during his time in office he has not had a chance to spend a lot of time with his kids and grandchildren.

And Mayor Gudgel will soon have five grandsons.

So in the first 30 or 40 days he says he will make his rounds and "bother" his family.

But after that he plans to get back to work for the city Keokuk.

"As I've told many, many people I don't intend to sit on the sidelines and watch the world go by. That's not my make up. I intend to serve on the boards and or commissions for the city of Keokuk. I want to be active in that," said Gudgel.

Gudgel says he has had a few offers to go to work in the private sector, but has no intention of making any rash decisions.

The mayor also told KHQA he wants to start working on a riverfront master plan, which he feels is very undeveloped.