My top three priorities are, complete the upgrade of the county gravel roads as soon as possible, get the jail project done on time, and under budget, and get the mental health services to everyone who needs them.
We had some diversity training when I was on The Sioux City Police Department, but that was a long time ago, and much has changed. I would consider this training for Supervisors, and all county employees.
We are as frustrated as the residents. We can’t go forward until the lawsuit filed by The SB-L School District is settled. We were supposed to have the first year’s gravel done, but now it has all been pushed back another year. Hopefully we can do it in less than 5 years, but that isn’t for sure.
I get tired of Des Moines telling counties and cities what they can, and can’t do. I am a strong proponent of local rule, and I thought Iowa was too. It is even more frustrating for issues that are not the same statewide, like a mask mandate in hot spots.
I don’t know of any services that I would be in favor of cutting, right now. I think we have a pretty efficient county government. I doubt that any of the elected officials would come forward with reduction requests, but I would look at them, if they did.
I talk to rural residents on an ongoing basis, and they are feeling unrepresented. I really believe there should be at least one supervisor from outside of Sioux City (we do have one now) that would only represent those outside of the city. We will have to look at the numbers when we look at redistricting. In the meantime, I will continue to make myself available to individuals or groups for honest and transparent conversations.
1. Growing jobs with a pro-growth agenda, which is why I am endorsed by the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce, the only candidate endorsed in my race. We have much we can do to build upon record economic development. My leadership in the Reinvestment District and comprehensive plans for our rural communities is important. The spirit of cooperation gained on the Board since 2015 has been key.
2. Lowering the tax burden on working families while making our business climate more competitive is critical. The Board has supported my plan to dedicate $28 million of future CF Industries revenue to property tax relief. I have put forward a dozen initiatives to lower our tax burden, from consolidating positions to utilizing creative solutions such as energy efficiencies.
3. Engaging in long-term planning whether for roads, building infrastructure (such as the courthouse) or high-quality services such as mental health in order to understand with compassion that our services ultimately serve people
I have attended a version of Diversity Training in my younger years. I have lived in a poverty situation by being on the mission field in Vietnam. I would consider any training that strengthens the workplace environment and helps increase customer service. I would encourage without making mandatory poverty simulation.
Despite my opponent's recent misrepresentation that this is a problem of the last 5 years, our county engineer has established this is a problem 30 years in the making. It is the recent Board post-2015 that has sought to actually address this concern. The problem was not created overnight, nor will it be fixed overnight. The Board now takes rural concerns seriously: that's why we met in every rural area when I was chair; I authored the plan for county-wide paramedic coverage (without a tax increase); and my two plans are ones the Board actually supported. While my opponent claims to work as a team, the fact is he has offered rural residents no solutions except raising property taxes by $10 million. The problem? The bond issue that he would propose putting in front of voters would not pass our Board much less our citizens. Instead, my plan to bond against future CF revenue after passing a legal challenge (the current holdup) will help us solve the issue while respecting taxpayers.
Some of these are areas in which local municipalities have sought to create a patchwork of varying and competing regulations. I am generally for local control but when it comes to subverting individual liberties and freedoms, the state is right to put in place some safeguards.
None. My opponent readily will raise taxes in the future as he has suggested in the past. In fact, I have found ways to do the following: provide county-wide paramedic coverage, help add new mental health services (and spend beyond the very limiting previous region cap, something my opponent would cut services on as he has failed to meet with our largest mental health provider to hear their needs and perspective). Yet we have lowered the levy a record four years in a row. Often we did so by looking at non-mandated programs, utilizing gaming revenue (instead of keeping it as a slush fund) and by putting into place policies for non-profit funding. I would also not engage in privatizing courthouse security, which my opponent supported, which undercuts the association and ends up with costly legal fees that when done without merit are wasteful and come out of needed services. Finally, I will be for any efficiencies in which by being efficient we can add or maintain services.
Many may feel this way given the current supervisor from District 3. For the first time, rural residents had their Board of Supervisors meet in every rural area, improve weed control chemical, restore soil conservationist funding, help get Dorothy Pecaut finally fully online, be provided with a once-and-for-all $10 million plan to rebuild gravel roads after 30 years of neglect, and be accessible. I think one has to be where the folks are. Hornick had 220 residents displaced by flooding and our Governor and Congressman were there with "boots on ground." Mayor Scott Mitchell reports my opponent never even showed up while I was there helping lead our Board of Supervisors. It's important to listen and seek to serve. When I was contacted about paramedic coverage and we held public meetings regarding the prospect of imposing a tax, I came up with a solution because I knew how critical emergency services are for rural residents. I will not ignore but instead represent all our rural families.