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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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

BITTER, Joseph

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Mayor Bitter with Mrs. Richard (Pat) Nixon). Photo courtesy: Tom Bitter

BITTER, Joseph J. (Dubuque, IA, Nov. 9, 1937--Dubuque, IA, Oct. 1, 2007). MAYOR. Bitter attended LORAS ACADEMY, LORAS COLLEGE and the University of Iowa Law School before returning to Dubuque in 1964 to establish his law practice. He practiced law in Dubuque for 43 years and in June, 1996, he was proud to have his son, Tom, join him in the practice.

Bitter served on the Dubuque City Council from 1970 to 1973. During his term as mayor of Dubuque in 1973 when the city purchased the bus system from INTERSTATE POWER COMPANY. Mayor Bitter accepted an award presented at the White House by Mrs. Pat Nixon on behalf of the American Association of Nurserymen. The award was for excellence in design and landscaping of the TOWN CLOCK PLAZA. Plans to renovate DUBUQUE CITY HALL included restoration of three rooms and a grand entrance with furnishings like those used in the early years of the building. The estimated cost of the project was $750,000. The Council in a 4-1 vote, sold Ecumenical Housing one-quarter acre on the southeast corner of 6th and Locust STREETS for $51,288. This led to the construction of ECUMENICAL TOWER. During the dedication ceremonies of the FLOODWALL on August 4, 1973, a telegram of congratulations was read from President Richard Nixon who reminded those in attendance that the wall had prevented an estimated $4 million in damage from flood waters that year. In 1973 the City of Dubuque and Asbury signed a SEWAGE treatment agreement after months of debate. Dubuque treated the sewage to pass through Asbury's soon-to-be-built sanitary sewer system at a rate 1.5 times that paid by a Dubuque homeowner.


1. "175 Years" Vol. II Telegraph Herald, p. 97

References to work during his administration may be found on the individual entries suggested. Addition information can be found by entering "1973" in the search feature.