Mayor's Office

Council Bluffs Government

Of the 940 Iowa cities throughout our state, only two cities, Council Bluffs and Waterloo, have an established "strong mayor" form of city government. Most of Iowa's other cities have a "city manager" government. Large Iowa cities hire a professional city manager to oversee their city's administrative leadership, while smaller Iowa communities rely on their city clerk for administrative oversight. Mayoral duties in the city manager form of government typically involve performing ceremonial responsibilities.

The Council Bluffs City Charter grants the mayor executive power, which means that the mayor's office has direct responsibility for city administrative oversight and city ceremonial responsibilities. The role of the Council Bluffs City Council is to approve the ordinances (laws) and resolutions (policies) by which the city's government must operate. The strict compliance with these ordinances and resolutions guides the mayor's office in the performance of its official duties.

Mission Statement

To continuously improve the quality of life and attractiveness of the City of Council Bluffs.

Meet Mayor Matt Walsh

Matt Walsh was first elected as a Council Bluffs City Council Member in 1996 and as the Mayor of Council Bluffs in 2013. For nearly three decades, Matt has worked diligently to make Council Bluffs a destination for new companies, new residents, and frequent visitors while meeting the needs of our existing businesses and current residents.

Hanging on the wall in Mayor Walsh's office is a 1910 photograph of his great grandfather, J.F. Wilcox, speaking with Teddy Roosevelt about various issues facing Council Bluffs back at the turn of the 20th century. Since that conversation took place, six generations of Walsh's family have been proud to call Council Bluffs their home. The mayor knows that ownership in any home means constantly addressing the necessity for scheduled ongoing maintenance and, when appropriate, designing plans for significant improvements in targeted areas so that our hometown doesn't deteriorate in value but continues to thrive for future generations. Walsh sees this ongoing preservation effort as the principal role of city government, and he interprets it as one of his mayoral duties to be a leader toward that effort.

Voters first elected Walsh to the Council Bluffs City Council in 1996 and as the mayor in January of 2014. During his time in elected office, Council Bluffs has been through many positive changes. Walsh believes that this is due to the accomplishments of a competent, dedicated city staff supported by a visionary City Council. Of course, future challenges await our community. Through planned strategic effort supported by appropriate asset allocation, we are proactive in meeting and overcoming these challenges. It is through these organized efforts that we find the true meaning to our community slogan, "Council Bluffs; Unlike Anywhere Else. On Purpose."

The mayor has been involved with a variety of organizations in leadership roles:
  • 2016 President of Iowa League of Cities
  • Past Chair of Iowa Western Community College Black Tie Celebration
  • Past Chair CHI Mercy Heritage Awards
  • Past Chair St Albert Auction
  • Graduate Leadership Council Bluffs
  • Graduate Leadership Iowa
  • Human Services Advisory Council "Volunteer of the Year"
  • Arts Council "Renaissance Faire King"
After graduating from high school, Walsh worked for five years as a construction worker, where he became a lifelong member of the "Laborers" Local 1140 Union. He then spent his next years working for the local Budweiser distributor. He enrolled in Creighton University as a nontraditional student, where he received a bachelor's degree in finance, working almost 30 years in the banking industry. The mayor and his wife Barb have two children, Erin and Jake, and three grandchildren.