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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

THOMS, Allan

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THOMS, Allan. (Dubuque, IA-). MAYOR. Thoms, a graduate of the University of Iowa law school, came to Dubuque in 1975 to work for DUBUQUE BANK AND TRUST COMPANY. (1) He held the position of vice-president and trust officer of DUBUQUE BANK AND TRUST COMPANY and board member of the DUBUQUE PACKING COMPANY when he served on the Dubuque City Council from 1972 to 1975 and as mayor in 1974.

During his term as mayor, construction began on ECUMENICAL TOWER. An expansion of the CARNEGIE-STOUT PUBLIC LIBRARY was suggested and a portion of Dubuque north-south freeway corridor was moved to the east to avoid being too close to the DUBUQUE COUNTY COURTHOUSE. FARMERS' MARKET was revitalized by the closing of 13th Street near DUBUQUE CITY HALL on July 6th. (2)

In 1975 Thoms left Dubuque after accepting an appointment as commissioner to the Iowa Department of Transportation. (3) Thoms was the first Dubuque resident to hold a state-level position with the D.O.T. since 1955 when Frank R. KERRIGAN left the Iowa State Highway Commission.

A strong advocate for increased mass transportation, Thoms found his support of 65-foot trucks on Iowa highways to be controversial. On February 20, 1979, he announced his resignation from the commission to accept the presidency of the Rowley Interstate Transportation Company.

In 1986 Thoms was vice chairman of the Iowa's Water, Air and Waste Management Commission and the CLARKE COLLEGE Board of Trustees when it was announced that he would become the director of the Iowa Development Commission. (4) Thoms led reorganization of the Department of Economic Development, and three years later was chosen to become Governor Terry Branstad's chief of staff.

In December 1990, Governor Branstad announced Thoms' appointment to head the Iowa Department of Economic Development. Thoms announced in 1993 that he would be returning to Dubuque to serve as vice president of advancement for the UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE. He served on the Iowa Utilities Board as its chairman beginning in 1995. From 2001 to 2003, Thoms was the Vice President, Public Policy and External Affairs, for Verizon Communications Inc. He then moved to San Francisco, California as a consultant for Wilk & Associates/LECG as a consultant on regulatory advocacy to state regulatory commissions.

In 2010 Thoms was the interim city manager of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 2016 he was elected to the Warehouse Trust Board. (5) The company was a real estate holding company and the owner of the NOVELTY IRON WORKS.



1. "Determination in Area Grows," Telegraph Herald, August 18, 1992, p. 17

2. "1974,"

3. Riddell, Amy, "Dubuque Ex-Mayors Recall Joys, Disappointments," Telegraph Herald, January 19, 1986, p. 3

4. Ibid.

5. "Warehouse Trust Board," bizTimes.biz, January, 2016, Online: http://p8080-