×
×
homepage logo

Primary Candidates Answer Questons

By Staff | May 29, 2008

etter knowledge of the candidates for the position,, the staff of The Reporter and The Democrat developed the following set of questions for the candidates to answer. It is our hope that the voters will be better able to make an informed, responsible choice when they go to the polls.

By Dan Voigt

When the polls open in Palo Alto County on Tuesday, June 3, voters in Palo Alto County Supervisor District Three will have the only contested local primary election. With the two-way race for the supervisor’s seat, knowing the candidates and their viewpoints is invaluable for the voters.

As a service to the voters, The Reporter contacted the candidates in the races for supervisor District Three. Both candidates were asked the same set of four questions and the answers to those questions and brief biographical sketches of each contestant are as follows:

Supervisor District III

The District III race for the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors features a contested race between Incumbent Supervisor Leo Goeders, who is running for re-election on the Democratic ticket to his seat on the board. Also competing for the Democratic nomination is Frank Kliegl.

Leo Goeders is the incumbent Supervisor for District III and is running for re-election as a Democratic candidate, having served 14 years on the board. Currently, Goeders is serving as Chair of the Board of Supervisors. Goeders was born, raised and educated in Palo Alto County and served in the United States Marine Corps in the VietNam conflict before returning home and attending Iowa Lakes Community College. Goeders has owned and operated Leo Goeders Construction for the past 33 years. He and his wife Kathy are the parents of five children.

Palo Alto County recently issued bonds to finance road construction projects for the Secondary road system. What are your priorities in terms of the county’s infrastructure and why?

Our county pavements for the most part were built in the 1950’s and they have just about reached the end of their useful lives. And over that time, the size of farm equipment has increased dramatically. Wagons that used to carry less than 100 bushels now carry up to 1,000 bushels. The weight of these loads is much greater than the old roads were designed for so we need to upgrade these roads. We also have seen a great deal of growth in semi traffic in the county, especially with our AGP soybean plant and POET Ethanol plants. With the plans to expand POET, there will be even more semi traffic in the future, and our roads must be able to meet these demands. Our roads must be updated to best serve the needs of the traveling public.

The Iowa Open Meetings Law protects the peoples’ right to know. How can you help promote or defend this law?

The public’s right to know about what government is doing has to be promoted and vigorously supported all the time. As an elected official, I have been elected to this position by the voters, who are entrusting me to be their voice in government. To not support openness in government, or to try and ignore the Open Meetings Law would be a tremendous disservice to those who elected me with their votes. A vote is a precious commodity, and the people who cast ballots are putting their trust into the candidate they vote for. An elected official must respect the laws and fully support being open and above-board in all governmental business.

As the cost of business continues to increase, the county, as a business, also experiences these ongoing increases. With increasing budgetary demands on the county’s coffers, what measures could you take, as a county supervisor, to give the taxpayers the best value for their tax dollar?

As a supervisor, I have tried along with the board to keep as many taxpayer dollars right here in our own county whenever possible. As an example, our county’s Secondary Road Department does a great deal of work on grading projects, rather than hiring outside firms for this work. We try to utilize local firms for supplies and services, and while we wish we could keep all of our expenditures within the county, sometimes it is not possible. As a supervisor, I try to research and obtain all the information that can be obtained before expenditures are made, in an effort to get the taxpayers the best value possible for their tax dollars.

What are your priorities for Palo Alto County as a member of the Board of Supervisors?

I think the key for the county will be continued economic development growth. Palo Alto County has seen tremendous growth and success in economic development in the past years, but we cannot afford to sit back and rest on those success stories. The Board of Supervisors must work closely with the Palo Alto Economic Development Corporation in their efforts to attract new business, industry and jobs to our county. At the same time, successes in these efforts will help lead to making our quality of life even more attractive. I would like to see more of our young people stay in Palo Alto County, and see those younger residents who have left us to come back and live. With good jobs, a good quality of life and the sense of community that we have in Palo Alto County, we are starting to see more of our young people coming back home. We must continue to do what we can to make that possible.

Frank W. Kliegl is running for the Democratic nomination for Supervisor in District III. A life-long resident of Palo Alto County, he is the seventh of eight children born to Warren and Bernadette (Brennan) Kliegl. Kliegl is married to Donna and they are the parents of four daughters, Amanda, Abrielle, Alissa and Allory. Kliegl is a member of Emmetsburg Volunteer Fire Department for the past 26 years and has served as the elected Fire Chief for the past nine years. He is a Nationally certified Fire Service Instructor and holds numerous other National and State certifications and also served on the Peer Review Panel at National Fire Academy, and Fire Grant Review Panel in 2001, in Emmitsburg MD;. Kliegl has served as an elected member of the Palo Alto County Soil and Water Conservation Commission for a six-year term. He is also a member of the county E-911 Board, President of the Palo Alto County Fire Association, Chair man of the Palo Alto County Fire School Board and is President of the Emmetsburg Catholic School Board. Additionally, Kliegl has served as a volunteer Emmetsburg Little League Coach 16 years, as well as seeing active duty as a U.S. Army, Communications Specialist, Honor Graduate and is a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, 339th MP Co., Pocahontas, IA

Kliegl has also served as Youth Services Director for Upper Des Moines Opportunity; operated his own business and worked as an equipment sales representative before starting his own business as a masonry contractor and serving as the Building Inspector for the City of Emmetsburg.

Palo Alto County recently issued bonds to finance road construction projects for the Secondary road system. What are your priorities in terms of the county’s infrastructure and why?

A good infrastructure in our rural area is vital to our local economy, providing services and attracting new businesses to our communities. As our truck traffic has drastically increased in the past decade, we need to make our rural areas more accessible and safer to travel to and from. With the climate we live in here in Iowa, we will always face difficulties with our infrastructure, however; with a proper plan in place these difficulties will be minimized. I was told a long time ago, “you may have the concept or idea, but you need to make it functional.” As I look around our county, we have in place the concept, but we haven’t finished making it functional. One example is paved roads that were put in place in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s that haven’t been made completely functional, they take trucks and traffic to a gravel road, rather then a functional by-pass or alternate route. Every year we wait in accomplishing goals the costs continue to go up. As the saying goes “It will never be as cheap as it is right now!”

I think it is our duty to provide our residents, visitors, emergency service crews, and future generations with a good, sound infrastructure and environment in which to live and do business. I have always believed that we are temporary guardians of our community and we should always leave things better then we found them.

The Iowa open meetings law protects the peoples’ right to know. How can you help promote or defend this law?

In order to prevent minor issues from becoming major problems, we must promote citizens input on issues. I strongly believe in having members of the community, and news media in attendance at meetings. The main reason for this as I see it, is to prevent complacency by decision makers. It is the fabric of our society, to be able to openly attend and voice opinions and concerns without fear of retribution.

As the cost of business continues to increase, the county, as a business, also experiences these ongoing increases. With increasing budgetary demands on the county’s coffers, what measure could you take, as a county supervisor, to give the taxpayers the best value for their tax dollar?

Both my wife Donna and I are private business owners here in Emmetsburg and understand the ongoing increased costs and challenges of being in business. It is important for people that are in these leadership positions, to be forward thinking, and engage in pro-active debates on budgetary decisions and issues that effect the taxpayers. Through these discussions, we reach a consensus on what is the best value for our tax dollars. In addition, spending as much of our tax revenues within the county means we will turn that dollar over providing our private employers the ability to increase their employee numbers, and provide current employees better income and benefits. These employers and employees in turn will be a bigger part of our local economy.

What are your priorities for Palo Alto County as a member of the Board of Supervisors?

There is a broad range of issues and priorities this board deals with weekly, however; I believe the central issue/priority revolves around Economic Development. As a private business owner I have always been taught that selling in volume generates more income then fragmented sales. It is the same with our local economy in general, the more people we have working and living in our communities, the more revenue we will raise, which in turn helps with the tax burden on each individual taxpayer of this county.

Along with this is the infrastructure within the county, we need a good sound foundation on which to build and continue these projects and see them through to completion. It is also important for all of us that our tax dollars are spent wisely, with a plan that continues to evolve as time passes.

As a former member of the Palo Alto County Soil and Water Commission, the environment has always been an important issue/priority for me. I believe there are fresh ideas being discussed and I feel the county should be apart of these discussions. We cannot just simply accept the “status quo,” or “that’s the way it is” attitude, we are all aware how important our environment is, and I feel it should always be a top priority.

As a leader I think you should be forward thinking and aware of issues on the horizon, and be willing to debate these issues, while examining the future of Palo Alto County.

As Fire Chief the past 9 years, I have learned that you cannot be singularly focused; you have to be aware of the whole situation, in order to reach a successful conclusion. I feel this is the kind of philosophy the board of supervisors operates on, making decisions that are right for our neighbors and county as a whole community.