To the Editor:
I read with interest a political advertisement paid for by the committee to re-elect John Schad as Emmetsburg mayor. The ad states that the current mayor has "uncovered a lot of things that needed changing, and some of them have happened." One of the changes mentioned was that we are now in compliance with state law to have half the members of various committees be women by the beginning of next year. A good point, however I don't believe the "gender equity" law was enacted by the state legislature until after Mr. Schad was elected mayor, therefore the city of Emmetsburg was never out of compliance with this law while Myrna Heddinger was our mayor. While mayor, Myrna went to great length to ensure our various committees were represented with competent citizens who wanted to do their part for the community.
The ad goes on to state that "we have opened up city hall so that people visiting the council chambers have a right to speak out on topics under discussion." Myrna is masterful in conducting public meetings and public hearings. She was always interested in hearing any information relevant to the topic and never attempted to stop anyone who had productive input from voicing their opinion. She kept good order and at the same time showed a genuine concern for other's opinions while still having the courage to make decisions which were at times controversial or unpopular.
Myrna Heddinger served as a city councilperson for 11 years and an additional eight years as our mayor. During those years, through her tireless efforts, Myrna was instrumental in so many good things that have happened in our community, many of which were mentioned in Mr. Schad's political advertisement. I think credit should be given where it's due: During her tenure as our mayor, Myrna Heddinger played a pivotal role in Emmetsburg attracting a multi-million dollar casino and resort. This was accomplished only after Myrna worked tirelessly to help convince the Iowa legislature to lift a six year moratorium and grant new gaming licenses. During her tenure as our mayor, Myrna Heddinger did her part to help Emmetsburg attract a multi-million dollar ethanol plant. During her tenure as our mayor, Myrna Heddinger worked successfully with developers to transform a dilapidated mobile home park into a beautiful housing subdivision.
During her tenure as a city council person, Myrna Heddinger was there to help launch the Five Island Lake Restoration Project. She was also there when the City of Emmetsburg and Iowa Lakes Community College partnered to build the Smith Wellness Center. Myrna Heddinger was there working for the community when we were able to attract a multi-million dollar soybean processing plant.
Myrna Heddinger would never tell you any of these major accomplishments happened as a result of her leadership, but I witnessed first-hand her tireless, unselfish efforts in making these things happen. Myrna is a compassionate, accomplished leader and a perfect choice to be our mayor.
(signed) Patrick Degen