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Town Hall Talk

By Staff | Feb 14, 2012

The first of two Town Hall meetings in Emmetsburg was held last Saturday with Sen. Jack Kibbie and Rep. John Wittneben. We are fortunate to have our Legislators take a local interest to keep us informed.

There were a dozen of us at the Welcome Center on Saturday morning. The Town Hall Meeting was a relaxed morning conversation over a cup of coffee.

Sen. Kibbie and Rep. Wittneben gave us an overview of their week, then answered questions from their constituents. It’s really pretty impressive that they would spend the week in Des Moines, then come home and spend Saturday listening to the residents of their districts.

Kibbie and Wittneben spent an hour addressing a variety of issues, some of which are included in their newsletters on this page. Education is always a key issue. Superintendent Art Pixler from Sentral Community School was there, along with School Board member Lannie Miller from West Bend. They had questions and comments about Governor Branstad’s Blue Print for Education.

Former State Representative Marcie Frevert was in attendance. She expressed dismay that you can no longer go to the bank and purchase a Savings Bond. You must order Savings Bonds online. Her recommendation to Kibbie and Wittneben was a Resolution to the Federal Government saying that we would like to be able to purchase Savings Bonds from our local banks. She expressed concern about security, especially when it comes to placing Social Security numbers online when ordering a Savings Bond. In Marcie’s opinion, fewer people will purchase Savings Bonds as a result of this ruling.

I think Marcie has a valid point. And, had I not been at the Saturday morning Town Hall Meeting, I probably would not have known about the change in purchasing a Savings Bond. In fact, Sen. Kibbie did not know about the change that occurred Jan. 1 either.

Granted, that’s just one small issue. But sharing information is the purpose of the Town Hall Meetings.

By electing Sen. Kibbie and Rep. Wittneben, we, in effect, hired them for a term of office. We expect them to conduct business in Des Moines based on the opinions of their constituents. We “hired” them.

We need to show our interest. Let your voice be heard at a Town Hall Meeting, not just at the coffee shop. Make your comments count.

The next Town Hall Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, March 10, at the Welcome Center. Emmetsburg Chamber of Commerce and Palo Alto County Farm Bureau co-sponsor the meeting and welcome everyone to attend. The coffee will be on, so bring your friends and neighbors for some good conversation.