If Tama County, Iowa really is a microcosm of the national political makeup and attitudes as national media has alluded to in the past, then what would you conclude if six or seven out of twelve towns elected new mayors? Even Meskwaki elected a new chairman. It is not a surprise that in general American citizens are not content. And even in a county where two of the most dominantly cited reasons for national discontent don’t apply directly locally (Tama County’s unemployment is about 3% less than the national average, and has zero long-term debt) an overwhelming expression for change is being voiced. Both from citizens wanting new representation and elected officials who don’t want the leadership responsibility anymore.
In 2012 Tama County, Iowa will have at least 31 new leaders who would be empowered to shape the economy positively by the actions they personally choose to take an active role in or re-prioritize. But fundamentally economic development is a team sport. And it’s not just up to elected officials, but also businesses, nonprofits, workforce, residents, schools, volunteers, students all working together to facilitate the change that we would like to see in the world. Congratulations to the following civic leaders. We look forward to working with you on your vision for strengthening the local economy with the powers that will be entrusted to you. As of November 9, 2011, 9 a.m. these are the unofficial election results from the Tama County Auditor.
- Chelsea: Mayor Leif Morris, Craig Forcht*, Steve VanDeWalle*, Dixie Forcht, Aaron Balvin, Kurt Kelly
- Clutier: Mayor Ardene Cross*, Arlene Vondracek*, Bruce Kriz*, Gordon Fassett*, Linda Pearson*, Robert Caslavka*
- Dysart: Mayor Pamela Thiele, (another new council person would need to be appointed in Thiele’s council seat.), Donald Zeien*, Mary Wankowicz
- Garwin: Mayor Greg Ochs*, Curt Bacon*, Gary Edwards, Tracy Frasier
- Gladbrook: Mayor Keith Sash*, Trudi Scott, Dan DeWitt
- Elberon: Mayor Bill Bergmeier, Nancy Brasch*, Linda Kaloupek, Joy Cox
- Montour: Mayor Susan Eberhart*, Tim Nunnikhoven*, Vicky Garske*
- Lincoln: Mayor Steve Mahr, Michelle Clark*, Trent Wentzien, Aaron Staker*, Vance Sebbert*, John Eibers
- Tama: Mayor Dan Zimmerman, Steve Baier*, Kenny McAdoo, Crystal Kaufman (another new council person would need to be appointed in Zimmerman’s council seat.)
- Toledo: Mayor David Svoboda, Jeff Filloon, Terry Goodhart
- Traer: Mayor Pete Holden*, Dahn Kennedy, Carri Holst, Raymond Mundt*
- Vining: Mayor Dale Stout* and David Parizek have a tie, Midge Horton*, Fred Vore, Ron Breja, Jill VanDee*, George Bazal*
- Meskwaki: Chairman Frank Blackcloud, Vice-Chair Travis Davenport, Treasurer Tony Waseskuk*, Secretary Dirk Whitebreast*, Donald Wanatee Sr.*, Judith Youngbear-Bender*, Paul Timberwolf.
There are a number of qualities that an elected official needs to embody to serve the local economy’s best interests. One thing is the ability to learn and integrate new information in problem solving. Hand-in-hand with that is being able to discern between what sources can be trusted. Serving specifically the best interests of development of the big picture, Tama County Economic Development strongly encourages new and returning elected officials to attend educational workshops because the resources and rules continually evolves. Especially info presented by entities like the League of Cities, area universities and other government entities.
Two opportunities to do exactly that is coming up over the next few weeks. Our Council of Governments is another example of an apolitical entity that can provide our volunteer civic leaders with access to professionally trained experts. Networking with other civic leaders at their events can also provide local civic leaders with a network of peers where local challenges can be discussed for viable solutions without the interference and distortions of local politics. Here are some upcoming opportunities for enrichment:
Cedar Valley Alliance TIF solutions
Wed. Nov 30, 12 p.m.
Special Guest Speaker: Bob Seymore
Region 6 Transportation Solutions
Mon. Nov. 28. 1 p.m.
Marshalltown Public Library
Special Guest Speaker: Engineers