Story County Supervisor
B.S. Elementary Education, ISU
AA. Liberal Arts, DMACC
Board of Directors, The Arc of Story County, Mid-Iowa Community Action.
Supervisor representative on Ames Mini Assessor, Board of Health, CICS, CIJDC, Aging Resources, BooSt for Children, Story DeCat
Other Relevant Experience
Budgeting experience through former work in legislature, as executive director, NAMI Central Iowa and program coordinator for LSI. Knowledge on Medicaid, & county mental health and disability system.
To address climate change at the local level, you do so by leading by example. The County has implemented numerous protocols related to energy efficiency. Examples are: using energy efficient lighting, water and light/room sensors, HVAC upgrades, paper use reduction, unplugging unused computers, printers, etc. All of this will help address climate change. We also need to have more conversations with other officials and community members to collectively develop a plan and/or goal to further reduce emissions that impact our environment and implement sustainable solutions.
The Resource Recovery Plant is a facility that turns most waste into energy and has taken steps to become more environmentally friendly, but more could be done to minimize emissions that play a part in the challenges we face regarding climate change. Mechanical upgrades that assist with processing waste in a more environmentally friendly process should be reviewed and implemented. A barrier may be costs associated with this. Further educating the public on what waste the plant can process and what they cannot. Having drop off /pick-up locations throughout the county of recyclable products, such as plastics, paper products etc, would also help support recycling efforts.
We need to improve the county’s process for verifying applicant’s declared points, including scheduling the voluntary citizen input sessions earlier in the 30-day response period so citizen questions and assertions can be properly investigated and answered. Work with our legislators on changes to the Master Matrix
My process for identifying priorities is by visiting with and listening to people throughout the county.This has included; city council members and staff, educators, businesses, librarians, healthcare workers, non-profit directors, farmers, people with disabilities, etc, to listen to their concerns. It is through these meetings, both ones I set up and; meetings establish by the Board of Supervisors that help identify the gaps and needs for services in Story County. It has been through these meetings and conversations that led me to identify the need to address: Broadband Connectivity, Affordable housing and childcare, funding our mental health system, addressing infrastructure needs, supporting farmers to ensure they have access to soil preservation and other programs that support their industry and to ensure that the taxpayers dollars are managed wisely.
Across Iowa there is a need for affordable housing. Having stable housing may lead to better personal and professional stability, reduce stress, improved mental health and a greater sense of security. The Story County Board of Supervisors recognized this, and took the first steps by funding a comprehensive housing study with the final report is due in January.
I am committed to addressing this need. I believe that we need to work in partnership with local municipalities, private entities and community providers such as the Story County Housing Trust Fund to collectively address the affordable housing crisis.
We need to encourage the reuse, recycling, and creative problem solving to resolve local pollution problems. Improving air quality in our local area, improving recycling efforts. Identify the possibility of creating business incentives for people to market products from recycled plastics for building materials or other uses. We need to realistically reduce air pollution emissions from our local businesses and households. Higher efficiency homes, better insulation and reduction of heating expenses create several economic advantages, including: More jobs in the building trades, lower energy usage, lower emissions from energy producers, and less money spent by residents. We need to keep up to date on the best ways to produce useable energy for our local area, and we need to support others to do the same. If everyone did these local changes, we would reduce any pollution impacts on the environment.
Always improve. As a Community, we need to identify if there are any other obvious ways to repurpose or reuse waste to improve our quality of life. Clean burning of waste, solves at least two problems, while creating no additional ones. This is a win. We need to find additional ways to gain something from nothing but waste.
Always improve. We need to ask; do we need more rules and regulations? I would propose we encourage and enable better-quality concentrated animal feeding operations. We should utilize our local resources at Iowa State University and find ways to improve the outcomes for agriculture, the economy and the environment. We will continue to need high quality affordable meat in our homes, and we need to be a catalyst for improvement of the delivery, reduce our reliance on large meat packing industries, owned by overseas interests, this would improve our economy in times of uncertainty in supply chain. I would like to see more local production and packaging of meat for our local consumption.
We need to involve all citizens more, establish listening systems to encourage everyone to take part in this local government problem solving team. Citizens, business leaders, community leaders all should participate in finding creative, efficient answers to our local problems. I will participate in Supervisor listening posts. I will schedule regular public meetings at local restaurants and meeting spaces to provide the opportunity for more local input in identifying and resolving issues faced in Story County.
Improve always. We need to find creative ways to improve our existing blighted neighborhoods or individual homes that have fallen into disrepair. We need to identify ways to increase the number of good paying jobs in the county, to make more housing affordable. We need to actively pursue revitalization efforts in all of our communities. It is an equation for success; More jobs equal more money + more resources + more housing. It is not a problem of not enough builders; it is a problem of economics. Jobs resolve economic issues far better than government programs do.