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Story County Board of Supervisors (2020)

The Board of Supervisors is the county’s three-member governing body. Supervisors approve bonds, establish and administer the county’s budget and policies, foster economic development, fill employee vacancies and set the county tax levy. Supervisors are elected county-wide to staggered four-year terms. General Election Day is November 3, 2020. Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.The pre-registration deadline to register to vote is Saturday, Oct. 24, at 5 p.m. The Auditor's Office will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day. After the pre-registration deadline, election day registration (EDR) procedures are followed. Proof of identity and proof of residence will be required. When using EDR, voters must both register and cast a ballot, whether it is an in-person absentee ballot or at the polls on Election Day. Request for an absentee ballot must be in the auditor's office by 5pm on October 24, 2020. You may vote in person at the Story County Auditor's office starting October 5, 2020 until November 2, 2020. For more information contact the Story County Auditor's Office at (515) 382-7210 or www.storycountyiowa.gov/elections

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  • Candidate picture

    Latifah A. Faisal
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Steven O'Rourke
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

What steps do you think the Story County Board of Supervisors need to take to address the climate crisis?

Communities throughout the county participate in the resource recovery system that processes waste for use in the Ames power plant. What changes,if any, do you favor to improve or replace this system, e.g.,curbside recycling of plastic.

In what ways could the Story County Board of Supervisors provide leadership in improving regulation of CAFOs?

What is your process for identifying your priorities to the many issues that Story County faces?

What in your view is your role in increasing affordable housing in Story County?

Campaign Mailing Address 4934 Utah Dr
Ames, Iowa 50014
Campaign Phone (515) 291-9804
Current Occupation Program Coordinator
Education B.A. Psychology
Community Involvement Board of Directors for Center for Creative Justice,Magistrate Nominating Commission,Habitat for Humanity volunteer, Story County Opioid Task Force, Nevada Substance Use Task Force, Leadership Nevada
Other Relevant Experience Mental Health Court Development, Grant writing experience, Crisis phone line experience, ACCESS training
Story County needs to develop a climate action plan. The Story County Board of Supervisors has a leadership role in convening the conversation and ensuring all of Story County's needs are considered. The Board of Supervisors has an active role in promoting green energy alternatives, recycling and re-use initiatives and conservation efforts. County government is in a unique position to support public education efforts and highlight conservation practices within Story County. Each and every one of us has a vital part to play in reducing our consumption and waste and protecting our natural resources. The climate crisis also requires an organized and systemic response. The Board of Supervisors has a critical role to connect individual conservation practices to larger community needs. For example, public transportation needs throughout Story County is very much connected to the climate crisis.
The recent troubles with the boiler system at the Ames power plan make clear that changes need to be considered and sooner rather than later. The amount of plastics in our refuse has been steadily climbing for years. The release of corrosive gases through the combustion process has resulted in damage to the boilers in the millions of dollars. I support setting a deadline for curbside recycling of plastic as well as expanding composting of food and yard waste. The League’s recommendation for making recycling bins available throughout the County (similar to the yellow glass recycling bins) while companies transition to curbside pickup provides a good bridge into the new collection process and would provide time for additional education efforts. We need to focus on growing and supporting as many renewable energy sources as possible while looking for efficiencies in the current system.
The approval process for CAFOs is complicated and too far removed from the people of Story County. Supervisors need to continue to push for more local control and ensure that the application process is transparent so that, at the very least, residents are made aware and have an opportunity to provide input. There need to be major changes made to the master matrix system. The process gives approval authority to the DNR but local costs such as lowered neighboring property values, worsening air and water quality are left for local government to absorb and try to mitigate. The Board of Supervisors have a leadership role in helping the public understand the larger systems involved in the process, empowering residents to be involved and pushing the legislature to restore local control.
Community needs are interconnected and county government must have a broad view of the diverse needs that Story County residents have. This is especially true in this time of crisis, unpredictability and change. Setting priorities requires a hierarchy of needs analysis. People need to have access to healthy food, safe affordable housing, steady employment with a living wage, healthcare (to include mental health care), well-funded schools and reliable transportation. We need to have a strong business sector creating jobs to maintain a robust tax base so that we can continue to ensure our residents have their critical needs met, improve everyone’s quality of life, maintain our roads and bridges, support and grow our rural communities and our local agriculture.
Covid 19 is dramatically changing the housing needs in Story County. County government has a responsibility to residents that our housing solutions are creative, inclusive and responsive to this dire and dynamic situation. There will be residents who have never before needed assistance coming to social services and government. Residents who have a history of housing insecurity are likely to be at an even greater risk of homelessness as the economy contracts. At the same time, landlords face uncertainty as situations for students and workers shift. County government sets a framework where we consider immediate needs, infrastructure and resources to support healthy, thriving neighborhoods throughout Story County.
Campaign Mailing Address 5300 Hickory Hills Drive
Ames, IA 50014
Campaign Phone (515) 290-9331
Campaign Email sorourke54@gmail.com
Current Occupation Owner Ames West Side Storage Public Adjuster IA/NE
Education Loras College 72-75 ISU 75-79
Community Involvement Member Christ Community Church Gilbert Boy Scout Program Leader Gilbert Athletic Boosters President Gilbert Education Foundation Pres & Treasuer 10 years
Other Relevant Experience Self employed my entire working career for 40 years. My businesses started because of a problem and a found the solution and that is how most businesses start.
My question is what have the supervisors been doing? Once I know that answer than I will know how I might address the issue.
This is our only source of disposal of waste products in our county because we no longer have a landfill in Story County. I have always thought it was a great way to reuse energy stored in waste products to re purpose waste and turn it into electricity. If need be with the age of the facility and additional growth in our county we may need to look at the updating of our current facility. I know recycling cans and plastic is a great idea but there has to be a use for these recycled products. With the price of oil today as an example it's cheaper for manufacturers many times to start with the virgin product vs going through the effort of using recyclable products.

To begin investing time and money in recyclables we need businesses that can actually use or re purpose these products. This would be another great business model to start.
I am not sure how many large CAFOs we have left in our county, but along with CAFOs water is always a concern. I know the supervisors are in charge of the tiling system in our county and I know we have problems in this area. As more farm land gets developed for residential use we have to make sure our tiling system in the county is not affected and at the same time investigate ways to improve our tiling systems.
My process for identifying priorities will be to sit down with each story county department and find out from the folks on the ground what are the problems they face everyday and in their opinions how to correct the problem if there is one. I have always tried to listen to people first, analyze the problem, then work on finding the solution.

My pet project will be to address the housing issues we have in the county.
I want to help increase affordable housing in Story County through a program that is already in place and has been for 30 years in Polk County. I don't necessarily want to reinvent the wheel I just want to move the wheel to Story County. In my past life as a mortgage banker and real estate broker I used this product in Polk County and always wondered why we did not have this program. If elected I will work to introduce this proven program that will help homeowners refinance or purchase existing homes that are in need of some TLC. The program I will work to introduce will help everyone in this county. I don't care what side of the political aisle someone is on this program will be a benefit to everyone. The funds to make this program work will be generated from the private sector. This program will not be government funded and the program end users are not restricted to a specific income level.