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TAKOS, Peter Joseph

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TAKOS, Peter Joseph. (Waterloo, IA,--Dubuque, IA, Jan. 7, 1987). MAYOR. The son of Peter G. TAKOS, Peter was a graduate of LORAS ACADEMY and LORAS COLLEGE. In 1943 he was commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy at Northwestern University. (1)

Takos, a member of the city council from 1958 to 1965, supported the Real Estate Board for inaugurating a tax study group which would serve as "watchdogs" on city government. He charged that local and county governments had become the "racehorses of budget appropriating and spending in the country." It was ironic, he believed, because it was at these levels that the public had the greatest power. (2) He was a member of the Iowa League of Municipalities legislative committee in 1964 when he proposed five changes in laws that would aid city government. First, he proposed "genuine property tax relief" but did not specify any method or make any recommendations. Second, he suggested a "terminal tax relief on improvements made to properties." Once improvements were made, the property owner would be given a specified number of years before the assessed value on the property was changed. Third, Takos proposed that voting machines be unlocked ten days after an election if there was no challenge. The present system of keeping them locked had resulted recently in officials finding enough machines that could be used. Fourth, Takos believed registration should be closed fourteen days prior to an election instead of the current ten days. Lastly, he wanted a clarification of the law on making appointive bodies, such as an airport commission, responsible to the city council in budgeting. (3)

Takos served as the mayor of Dubuque in 1960 with the intent of establishing a "Capital Projects Program," a system of evaluating various projects and completing them in the order of their importance. (4) In his first official act as mayor, he introduced an investigation of the city manager. Two of the most controversial actions of his term were the dismissals of City Manager Laverne SCHILTZ and City Solicitor Thomas Nelson. At the end of 1961, Takos claimed that "independent government" had led to the construction of a new Sears store, an expansion of the JOHN DEERE DUBUQUE WORKS, expansion of the DUBUQUE PACKING COMPANY, and the location of Janlin Plastics, Ralston-Purina, Arbor Tool and Fertilizer-Packaging at the industrial park. He also pointed to the expansion of the city's water distribution system. construction of the Kaufmann Avenue and the 17th streets sewers, ANNEXATION of more than 230 acres of and, construction of a new marina and the Fengler overpass. At the same time the tax increase of a city the size of Dubuque was one of the smallest in the nation. (5)

Takos proposed a schedule for daylight savings time in 1963. (6) In 1970 he threatened a court suit if the reappraisal of Dubuque caused city property owners to bear an unfair share of county and school taxes. (7) While the reassessment was in progress, he expressed his opposition to the renovation of the DUBUQUE COUNTY COURTHOUSE in 1971 in an editorial. (8)

Takos was president and an honorary life member of the Dubuque Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Dubuque Board of Realtors. He owned and operated the Peter Takos Company, Antiques and was associated with Market Realty. It is not known if he profited from an error made by the postal system in 1960. On the 40th anniversary of the first transcontinental air mail flight, postal authorities added the letters "PTS" to the postmark used on special letters. "PTS" referred to the Postal Transportation Service which no longer existed. There were twenty letters carrying such errors known to exist in Dubuque. (9)



1. "Ensign Takos," Telegraph-Herald, November 1, 1943, p. 5

2. "Dubuque Officials Favorable to Citizens' Budget Queries," Telegraph-Herald, June 30, 1958, p. 2

3. "City Proposes Law Changes," Telegraph-Herald, March 15, 1964, p. 3

4. "City Council Elects Takos as New Mayor," Telegraph-Herald, January 2, 1960, p. 1

5. 'Giant Strides' Made By City, Takos Claims," Telegraph-Herald, October 31, 1961, p. 2

5. "Threat to Reappraisal," The Telegraph-Herald, May 10, 1970, p. 1

6. "Daylight Time in Dubuque Planned June 2, to September 1," Telegraph-Herald, February 4, 1963, p. 1

7. "Letters," Telegraph-Herald, June 16, 1971, p. 3

8. "Postmark May Mean $$$," Telegraph-Herald, September 11, 1960, p. 9

"Fulfilling Dreams...One Home at a Time," Dubuque Board of Realtors, Inc. 1913-2013, May 30, 2013, p. 11