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Candidates outline qualifications at Forum PDF Print E-mail
Written by J Wilson   
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 15:22

By J. Wilson

Free Press Editor

A crowd of over fifty voters turned out for the Candidate Forum hosted by the Adams County Free Press and Adams Community Ambassadors at the Corning Community Building on Oct. 27.

Tim Ostroski, Executive Director of the Southern Iowa Council of Governments was on hand to wrangle the eleven candidates for state and local offices who attended to field questions from the public. After an introduction by Ostroski, who outlined the format, the candidates began with a two-minute introduction.

The candidates taking advantage of the forum were Dist. 21 State Representative candidates Rep. Jack Drake (R) of Griswold and challenger Tim Ennis (D) of Corning, unopposed State Senate candidate Tom Shipley (R) of Nodaway, County Supervisor District 1 incumbent Doug Birt (R) of Prescott and challenger Larry Sawyer (D) of Corning, County Supervisor District 3 incumbent Linda England (R) of Corning and challenger Kevin Wynn (D) of Corning, County Supervisor District 4 candidate (to replace the retiring Phyllis Mullen) Leland Shipley (R) of Nodaway, unopposed County Treasurer incumbent Nancy Kempton and County Recorder candidates (to replace the office vacated by the retiring Mary Miller) Iona Allen (D) and Jamie Stargell (R).

Having adopted Adams County as his home 43 years ago, District 21 Challenger Tim Ennis noted his community involvement over the years and his pride in the example the area sets for others to see. “Corning is a shining example of what can be done with a community with volunteers,” Ennis said. “We’re known as a volunteer community.”

When asked why voters should elect him, Ennis responded with his intent to live by his campaign motto: “Preserve the best and improve the rest.”

Incumbent Rep. Jack Drake, a lifelong resident of the area, is currently serving his twenty-second year in the legislature. Prioritizing a balanced budget, Drake emphasized his experience on the Appropriations Committee, Agriculture Committee, State Government Committee and his leadership roles as Co-Chair of Agriculture and DNR Budget Appropriations Committee and Vice-Chair of International Relations Committee.

A lifelong Adams County resident, Dist.1 incumbent Doug Birt discussed his concern about population loss. “I want my kids to have the opportunity to live here as well, “ he said, noting the necessity of thinking outside the box to ensure the county’s ability to prosper and maintain services despite its low population.

Though new to Adams County, District 1 Supervisor challenger Larry Sawyer outlined his Adams County roots, his fresh eyes and his background in accounting as an asset of the role’s primary duty, to “make sure that money is spent effectively,” he said.

Seeking the Adams County Supervisor District 4 seat vacated by the retiring Phyllis Mullen, Leland Shipley expressed his interest in transferring agricultural and school board leadership experience to aid the county. Inspired by his father whom he watched serve as mayor of Nodaway, Shipley indicated he hopes to be a part of “a responsible government that serves the people,” he said. “Adams County has done a good job of being fiscally responsible in the past. If you look around at surrounding counties, we get a big bang for our buck, and I’d like to continue that tradition.”

District 3 Supervisor incumbent Linda England cited her experience as magistrate, understanding of the law and ability to interpret it on behalf of Adams County, as well as her service as Supervisor since 2005 as credentials for reelection.

England is being challenged by former Supervisor Kevin Wynn, who intends to utilize his past experience on the Board of Supervisors and other county boards and committees to inform his performance on the job. “I try to do things for the county that are good things,” said Wynn, who indicated that he was both progressive and conservative, depending on the issue.

Running unopposed for the District 11 Senate seat that opened up upon Sen. Hubert Houser’s retirement, Tom Shipley is proud to be a candidate with an agriculture background, as along with Houser’s departure three additional senators with a heavy agriculture background sitting on the Senate Agriculture Committee were also retiring. “The issues are not Republican and Democrat,” he said, recognizing that there are many ag-focused Democrats as well as urban-focused Republicans in the mix. “It’s rural and urban.”

Running unopposed for her fourth term as County Treasurer, Nancy Kempton outlined her job experience and appreciation for the opportunity to serve the people of Adams County.

Seeking the Adams County Recorder role vacated by the retiring Mary Miller, Iona Allen emphasized her experience as Corning’s City Clerk, knowledge of the office and customer service skills as key to her qualifications for the Recorder’s office.

Jamie Stargell seeks to transition from her role as a prevention specialist to serve in the Recorder’s office, emphasizing her experience with accurate record keeping in her current vocation.

District 4 Supervisor candidate Tyler Edwards and County Attorney candidate Andrew Zimmerman did not attend.

Following introductions, Ostroski opened the floor to the constituents in attendance. Voters asked about the candidates’ views on the most important aspect of the office they were seeking, how to ensure that agriculture and tourism can coexist within the county, possibility of raising Iowa’s minimum wage, how to cultivate a climate that supports increased telecommuting, development of Lake Icaria, dealing with unfunded mandates and more vs. less government.

Timber Ridge upgrades outlined PDF Print E-mail
Written by J Wilson   
Tuesday, 21 October 2014 14:09

Adams County Conservation officers Travis Paul, left, and Dan Carl discuss proposed upgrades to Lake Icaria’s Timber Ridge Campground. Photo by J. Wilson


During an onsite tour of the proposed Timber Ridge Campground project at Lake Icaria, which is on the Nov. 4 ballot for a General Obligation Bond, Adams County Conservation Director Dan Carl spoke to a small crowd of interested Adams County residents about the upcoming facility upgrades.

Carl outlined the age and limitations of the current campground compared to the needs of today’s camper, which prefers full service camping, including 50-amp electric service, water and a sewer hookup. Carl noted that 20 percent of Lake Icaria’s camping revenue comes from the 16 full service sites that are presently operational, and if the Bond passes, the campground will upgrade to a total of 40 full service sites, along with another 22 sites with 50-amp electric service and water hookups. According to Carl, the full service sites are occupied an average of 40 more nights per year per site than the average electric site, and he expects an annual revenue increase of $165,000 as well as an additional $300,000 spent into the local economy.

“We need to get it done and get it back in operation,” said Adams County Supervisor Merlin Dixon of the project. “We’ll lose a few campers in the fall and a few in the spring, but when it’s all said and done, we’ll have a Cadillac of a campground going.” Dixon said that if the bond doesn’t pass, the work at the Timber Ridge Campground will still need to be addressed in the future, and that the project will double in cost as time goes by and if it is done in a piecemeal fashion.

The 12-year General Obligation Bond of $1.3 million ($.43/$1,000) will be on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Independent Narcisse visits Corning PDF Print E-mail
Written by J Wilson   
Friday, 10 October 2014 14:09

Jonathan Narcisse made a campaign stop in Corning on Sept. 30. Photo by J. Wilson

Running for Governor of Iowa representing what he calls the “Iowa Party,” Independent candidate Jonathan Narcisse made a campaign stop in Corning on Sept. 30.

The Iowa Party is intended as a watchdog/accountability party that is not designed to change people’s national party affiliation, but rather restore focus on running the state of Iowa.

Narcisse believes that the current leadership has failed to keep running the state at the top of their priorities. “It used to be that county supervisors would get a call from the governor or state senate representatives asking for their help in running Iowa,” said Narcisse. “Now those people are getting calls from people like Hillary [Clinton] asking them to focus on national politics, forgetting that they still have a state to run.”

Narcisse outlined his plans for Iowa if elected; they include the following:

Incentivizing in the young people of Iowa to stay in the state

Focusing on rural resettlement

Moving drug charges from the criminal to the civil court docket

Legalizing marijuana to be grown via permit and sold in state controlled environments. “This would both eliminate the criminal element and be a source of tax revenue to be used for tax relief, mental health coverage and rebuilding Iowa’s infrastructure,” said Narcisse.

For more information on Narcisse, the Iowa party and his campaign visit

Walking toward the healthiest state PDF Print E-mail
Written by J Wilson   
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 15:25


Corning walkers Oct. 8 joined a statewide effort to help Iowa rise from number 10 to number one on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index of the nation’s most physically, emotionally and mentally healthy by 2016. Courtesy Photo

REC hosts candidate forum PDF Print E-mail
Written by J Wilson   
Thursday, 02 October 2014 13:47

Attorney General candidate Adam Gregg

Three candidates for the upcoming Nov. 4 election attended a candidate forum hosted by the Southwest Iowa Rural Electrical Cooperative (REC) in Corning on Sept. 30. Corning REC CEO/General Manager Phil Kinser welcomed those in attendance before Iowa Rep. Jack Drake (R-District 21) spoke briefly and introduced Republican Attorney General candidate Adam Gregg.

A sixth generation Iowan, Gregg offered a short biography, which included attending Central College and Drake University, as well as a stint working “at one of the state’s top law firms.”

“At every opportunity in my life, I have chosen Iowa,” he said. “Now I’m asking Iowans to choose me.” Gregg noted his work representing Iowa individuals and businesses before becoming an advisor for Gov. Terry Branstad’s office as a top advisor and legislative liaison. Gregg promised an open, effective and accessible attorney general’s office if elected.

Sen. Charles Grassley introduced his former Chief of Staff and current Republican Third District Congressional Candidate David Young. Another sixth generation Iowan, David Young discussed his passion for working with and on behalf of Iowans in Washington, DC under Grassley. “I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work,” Young said. “I’ve seen up close how you don’t have to sell your soul to get things done.”

Noting the challenges faced by the nation, Young underscored the “fiscal mess” in Washington, DC. Young noted priorities such as a balanced budget, government accountability, a simplified tax code and opposition to the Affordable Care Act as keys to his candidacy.

David Young

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