His responses during the derecho aftermath and pandemic have often been both panned and praised, but Cedar Rapids mayor Brad Hart has yet to make a decision on seeking re-election for that position in 2021.

He was first elected in 2017, and while that announcement could come as early as January. he has, however, made a decision on another role he has been in for nearly 40 years. Hart will retire from the firm Bradley & Riley as a business lawyer after the first of the year.

Of note for Cedar Rapids residents with the announcement of his retirement is that it will no longer require Hart to recuse himself from many city council votes and decisions, as he has had to in the past due to conflicts of interest through his law firm, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette. The most notable among these recusals have been those involving Rathje Construction. He's had to recuse himself from recent votes involving traffic cameras and the $100 million "First and First" project, where a brewery, movie theaters, and family fun center were proposed to be built on land earmarked and rejected for a downtown casino. The fate of that land is still being determined.

What's he going to do with his newfound free time? Certainly give more attention to the mayoral position, at least that's the hope of the citizens of Cedar Rapids. Hart will also devote more time to his volunteer efforts with Trees Forever, a group that raises funds for the "ReLeaf Project" to replace the tree canopy lost in the August 10 derecho.

On a more personal note, he plans to spend more time with family, and biking and exercising.

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