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Brian Dunkelberger has been the City of Newton's City Planner since June 2019. Brian grew up in eastern Iowa on a small family farm just outside of La Porte City. Prior to employment with the City of Newton, Brian attended the University of Iowa, earning both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees. Brian loves sporting events, live concerts/musical performances, and spending quality time with his girlfriend and dog. He is arguably the biggest Green Bay Packers and Iowa Hawkeyes fan in the area, so don’t hold that against him!
What do you think people should get to know about Newton?
Newton has so much more to offer than most outsiders realize. I admit that I probably fit into that category before starting this job, but I have been exceedingly impressed by the variety in employment and entertainment options available in Newton.
What’s an upcoming project you are excited to work on?
Seeing as how I just recently began with the City of Newton, I am excited to simply continue establishing myself within the community. I have a passion for connecting with people, so I enjoy meeting anyone and everyone who is willing to connect. I assume a common answer to this question would be Project Fastpitch for obvious reasons, but I am also fortunate enough to enjoy something different each and every day – at a much smaller scale!
What’s an accomplishment you’re proud of?
I am most proud of earning my Master’s Degree and being hired by the City of Newton. I come from humble beginnings, and I feel that nothing I accomplished up until this point was unearned. Fighting through adversity, devoting countless hours to study, and trusting the process are the three key ingredients that have and will continue to guide me. By recognizing and reflecting on that, it is a personal drive of mine to give back in any way that I can both now and in the future.
How is your department helping Newton prepare for the future?
I would argue that the fundamental purpose of our department is to prepare for the future. We work and coordinate with other departments, organizations, businesses, and the general public to ensure the name of our department, Community Development, is realized. In my opinion, Community Development is a broad and over-arching title that is best summarized by building strong neighborhoods, enhancing economic opportunity, and preserving a high quality of life for all who call Newton home.
What is Newton’s best-kept secret?
I instantly fell in love with Legacy Plaza, and particularly the pedestrian mall/walkway and courtyard. Whenever I visit the campus, I feel inspired and hopeful that the entire area will continue to grow and develop. It is such a beautiful and serene space that I wish more people could enjoy and visit. To me, it is a physical symbol representing the resilience and determination this community has shown over the years.