10 years ago, not much.
My knowledge of county government was pretty basic; they collect my taxes, I have to let them know when I buy a car, that’s where I renew my passport and driver’s license. Oh, and I hear they handle the roads.
Eight years ago, when I started my own business, some of my early clients were government entities. Since then, I’ve provided training to government officials at all levels. I spoke at a state health department event. I’ve done leadership training for a Federal department (the VA), and I recently did a 6-session leadership class series for the City of Perry’s leaders, including the police chief, library director, city administrator, and every department in between.
And, I’ve worked with county officials, too. I’ve done leadership training for all the Assessors in the state. I did a training session for County Treasurers in this part of the state. I’ve executed multiple training sessions for County Conservation folks. I have been hired to provide leadership training multiple times for Scott County, one of the larger counties in the state. I’ve provided team development for an Auditor’s office. I have been a presenter at the Iowa State Association of Counties annual convention. And along the way, I learned a few things.
So because of that, when I started pondering this race, almost two years ago, I had an understanding of the complexity of local governments like cities and counties. I began attending meetings, and saw there was still a lot to learn.
Because I believe in fixing weaknesses, I committed to learning as much as I could before I filed my candidacy. I met with nearly every department head; Planning and Zoning, Secondary Roads, Emergency Management, Public Health (twice – there was turnover in that position), and more. I also met with elected officials, toured their offices, and learned about their day-to-day work, including the Sheriff, County Attorney, Treasurer, Recorder, and Auditor. And, I met with people dedicated to the development of Madison County: the directors of the Chamber and the Development Group.
I have two notebooks filled with insights from those meetings, and followed up with more questions as the campaign rolled forward. I studied their public documents. There’s still a lot to learn.
What can you take from this as you decide how to cast your vote?
- You can count on the fact that I have an up-to-date understanding of how Madison County works, and how its parts relate to each other.
- You can count on me to learn; I won’t assume that I have all the answers, or pretend I know everything. Instead, I go out and seek answers.
If you want that in a Supervisor, then I would appreciate your vote.