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Exercise Your Right To Vote Nov. 4

By Staff | Oct 30, 2008

When the polls open in Palo Alto County on Tuesday, Nov. 4, voters in Palo Alto County will not only have a presidential ballot to cast, but also a more local task – selecting a person for County Supervisor District Three. The supervisor’s race in Emmetsburg is the only contested race this year in county government.

In an effort to identify some issues facing the candidates, as well as being able to introduce the candidates to the voters of Supervisor District Three, The Reporter contacted the candidates and gave them the same set of four questions The answers to those questions and brief biographical sketches of both candidates for the position are provided to allow the voters to learn more about the person they want to represent them.

Supervisor District III

The District III race for the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors features a two-person race. Incumbent Supervisor Leo Goeders is running for re-election as an independent candidate. Opposing Goeders for the seat on the board is Democratic candidate Frank Kliegl.

LEO GOEDERS

Explain what qualifies you to be a Palo Alto County Supervisor? Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the position?

I feel that I am the best candidate for the position of County Supervisor because of my continued commitment to you, the taxpayers. During the last 14 years, I have worked diligently on county budgets, drainage issues and numerous committees on your behalf. I feel I have proven that I am dedicated, responsible and forward-thinking. I will continue to do my very best and I welcome the challenge of finding solutions that meet the needs of the taxpayers. It has been an honor to serve the constituents of Palo Alto County for the past 14 years; should I be honored as such for the next four years – you can be assured that I will continue to work tirelessly for the continued success of Palo Alto County.

What would you do as a county supervisor to reduce expenditures for Palo Alto County?

To reduce county expenditures, I will continue to work with county officials to hold the line on budget spending. In the last four to five years, we have managed the budgets to the degree that we were able to reduce our tax asking – which is almost unheard of. I have also worked diligently on saving tax dollars by reducing county employee health insurance expenses. We saved over $80,000 in just the past year alone by going to partial self-funding. Additionally, I have helped to develop a designated Safety Board that has worked to save over 13% in Worker’s Compensation claims and has helped to put Palo Alto County in a lower-risk category. This in turn saves the county additional expense. It is my plan to continue to be fiscally responsible on behalf of the citizens of Palo Alto County.

In your opinion, what is the most pressing issue for Palo Alto County and its citizens? Why?

In my opinion, the most pressing issue for Palo Alto County is jobs-both the creation of and retention of employment opportunities! During the last 14 years of my tenure, we’ve made tremendous progress in economic development with industries that include AGP, Skyjack, POET Bio-refining and the Wild Rose Casino. Numerous jobs were created when these companies came to Palo Alto County. I have worked closely with local economic development officials, and will continue to do so, to help businesses achieve grants and low interest loans to ensure their viability in our county. The success of businesses in Palo Alto County means success for us all – turning opportunity into achievement and potential into reality are of the utmost importance!

What is your vision for Palo Alto County? What will you be able to do as a county supervisor to see that vision realized?

My vision for Palo Alto County is one of continued growth. Our county is facing an exciting future with many opportunities, but we need dedicated, responsible, forward-thinking leaders to see that these opportunities are turned into realities. I will do my very best to continue to be that kind of a leader. I have always welcomed the challenges of finding solutions that meet the needs of the taxpayers. I realize that I have been entrusted to look out for the best interest of those who have put me in this position. I will continue to earn that trust, should I be re-elected.

FRANK KLIEGL

Explain what qualifies you to be a Palo Alto County Supervisor? Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the position?

I have thought long and hard about where I might want to move forward in a positive direction with my life. Putting my name on the ballot to run for County Supervisor last spring was the right choice. The years I spent as Youth Services Director for 9 counties here in northwest Iowa, as well as, the years I have been a business owner and worked in private business, have given me the confidence to take on the leadership role in other areas that make up a community. I have committed the past 26 years of my life to the Fire Service, learning and evolving with all of the challenges that are a part of belonging with this type of volunteer service. Along the way I have received many National and State certifications and have dedicated a great deal of this time to training and instructing new recruits to the fire service. As Fire Chief you work to resolve a situation in the best possible way and many times this may require a unified command with other agencies all working together.

When I step forward or raise my hand to do something, I will do so with the best intentions and work hard to accomplish the goals set out in front of me. Challenges are temporary, just as we are, and new challenges are on the horizon. We must prepare to act and do what is right for the community we live in and for future generations.

What would you do as a county supervisor to reduce expenditures for Palo Alto County?

Reducing county expenditures are more often then not temporary and misleading when the actual budget is balanced. The priority is to work within a balanced budget and provide the taxpayers with the best value for their dollar. As a Board we need to be willing to debate issues and make decisions that will have a lasting effect on our budgets and make sure we are doing everything we can not to increase the local tax burden of the residents of the county. The strategy should be not to micromanage but to be a watchdog on frivolous spending throughout the county.

When people think of relocating, taxes are one of several factors that people consider. We are lucky to have many positive reasons that attract people to our area. Being proactive in economic development and broadening our base is one way we will reduce the tax burden for all.

In your opinion, what is the most pressing issue for Palo Alto County and its citizens? Why?

Economic Development will always be a top priority; as businesses change, new technologies come about, and demographics evolve. Attracting new businesses is a layered process; we must be competitive among all other communities they might be considering. Our infrastructure must meet the needs of these new business opportunities when they come along.

We are not totally isolated from what is happening nationally. In addition to recruiting new businesses, we must work hard to maintain what we have. If we work with our existing businesses, and are open to their input, we will create an atmosphere of cooperation that will be visible by future potential businesses. We have a good work force here in Palo Alto County and we need to work hard to keep them working and provide opportunities to move more families in.

What is your vision for Palo Alto County? What will you be able to do as a county supervisor to see that vision realized?

The Vision I have for Palo Alto County is a high quality of education for our youth, safe communities in which to live, employment opportunities for our families, and a comfortable place to retire and watch our communities thrive. Accepting the status quo and being complacent will not produce great results down the road.

As your Supervisor I will dedicate my time to making sure we are doing everything we can to realize the vision that our residents of this county have. I will focus on the issues and concerns they have and find an answer to resolve those concerns. As a leader it is my obligation to the people who elected me to lead and stand alone on certain issues if necessary. I will work diligently by debating the issues to bring change where needed. Living in our rural area is one of the greatest places in America, the issues and concerns that can sometimes divide us are narrow and are usually resolved and we move on. Our ability to work together to resolve these issues is what sets us apart from other counties and makes this a great place now and into the future.