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The year 2018 will see some new faces on Lone Tree’s City Council, as incumbent Mayor Sandy Flake and council member Jonathan Green step down following 2017’s elections.
Flake, a lifelong resident of Lone Tree and a graduate of Lone Tree High School, was first elected to city council in 2003. Her number one priority was to improve communication between members of the council and the community.
In a statement to the Lone Tree Reporter in October of 2003 she said frustration was one of the reasons she ran in the first place
“I was very frustrated and feeling like the people in town didn’t have a voice. They weren’t being heard,” she said. “They weren’t a part of the process.”
In 2005 Lone Tree saw controversy over an ordinance banning the burning of yard waste in town. Residents were unsure what to do with leaves and other waste if they weren’t allowed to burn it.
Every meeting, a packed City Hall overflowed with angry citizens and the issue divided Lone Tree for well over a year.
But Flake survived and Lone Tree’s process for addressing complaints and fixing problems has been dramatically improved in the 14 years she had served on council.
When asked about her plans now that she’s no longer on the council, Flake said that she is going to be spending more time with her “boys:” her dog, her son, her boyfriend and her grandfather.
Kice Brown has been active in Lone Tree’s city government since 1991, but came in fourth in a field of five candidates vying for three seats this fall
Brown was appointed to the council to fill the seat vacated by Mary Jo Rittenmeyer in July, 1991.
“Serving as a council member can be stressful as I quickly learned,” Brown said. “Local issues directly affect how people live and people take that very seriously.”
Trash pickup, burning garbage, disagreements over chip-and-seal versus concrete for streets and whether or not to require sidewalks were just some of the issues faced by Brown during his career
Brown chose not to run for a second term in 1993, but was appointed again to an empty seat on the council in 2000. In 2001 he ran for election and served in his seat for four more terms.
Brown was born in Grand Haven, Mich., and grew up in Phoenix, Ariz. He moved to Iowa in 1970 to pursue a doctorate in zoology at the University of Iowa. Ten years later he was working for the Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health at the College of Medicine as a biostatistical consultant.
He moved to Lone Tree in 1988 and began attending council meetings that February to get a feeling for the community’s civic issues.
He cited his eighth-grade civics class as his motive. He was taught “that for the benefits we receive by living in this democratic republic we should give back some service.”
Brown said he doesn’t consider himself an issues person but as a “representative of the electorate.” He said he wasn’t on the council to push an agenda, but to listen, consider, and come up with the best solutions for community problems.
“In several ways the diversity of issues faced by a council person have seemed similar to the diversity faced by a biostatistical consultant,” Brown said in a 2001 interview.
Brown said although he was disappointed by the election results, he will continue to serve the community as a member of the Policy Board of the Johnson County Livable Community for Successful Aging.
Brown currently lives in Lone Tree with his wife Barbara.