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home : news : news Tuesday, May 24, 2016

5/24/2014 Email this articlePrint this article 
Two Democrats running for supervisor nomination

By Jeremy Huss
Staff writer

Two Democrats are running in the June 3 primary election for their party's nomination as candidates for two open seats on the Clinton County Board of Supervisors: Gayle Dolan of DeWitt and Jim West of Clinton.

With two seats open, the Democratic candidates are unopposed in the primary. In the general election, they will face two of the five candidates seeking the Republican Party nomination: Shawn Hamerlinck of DeWitt, Kurt Olson of Grand Mound, Lester Shields of Clinton, Dan Srp of Camanche and Lydia Whitman of Calamus. The Republican nominee will be chosen at the primary or at a county convention if there aren't two candidates who receive at least 35 percent of the primary vote.

May 23 technically was the last day for residents to register to vote in party primaries, but Iowa's Election Day registration law allows them to register to vote in person by absentee ballot at the county auditor's office through June 2 or to register and cast a regular ballot on Election Day.

May 30 is the last day the auditor's office will accept requests for mailed absentee ballots. Absentee ballots received by the auditor's office on or after Election Day must be postmarked no later than June 2 to be counted.

Unofficial election returns will be available the night of the election, and official returns will be available after the canvass of votes June 10.

Gayle Dolan

Gayle Dolan is 58 years old and grew up in rural Clinton County. She graduated from Central Community High School in 1974 and attended South Seattle Community College and Marycrest College.

She is self-employed as a residential real estate appraiser and has worked in the industry for 13 years. Her prior work experience with US West Communications includes audit functions in the circuit design bureau and bank reconciliation for the payroll account in a tri-state region. She has managed financial accounting for a small farm operation and assumed complete responsibility after the unexpected death of her husband. She worked as a stay-at-home mom for 11 years and entered the appraisal field when the youngest of her four children was 5 years old.

She is a member of the Clinton Board of Realtors and the Iowa Association of Realtors and has been involved in fund-raising activities and has volunteered for various school functions over the past 20 years.

Why are you running for this office and what makes you qualified to serve?

I am running because I believe I am capable of providing the residents of Clinton County with dedicated representation concerning policy, budget and economic development. The time is right for me to give back and become involved on a higher level as my youngest child is preparing to leave for college.

I am qualified because I work daily with making decisions and recommendations based on analysis, as well as my past work experience and farm background. Prior to his death in 2000, my husband worked for Clinton County on the secondary road maintenance crew and farmed, each providing insight for my understanding of situations supervisors may be faced with.

What are the biggest challenges/opportunities facing the county and how would you address them?

Declining secondary road conditions and maintaining a budget that has already experienced drastic shortfalls are huge challenges facing our current board.

I would support the gas tax providing appropriate allocations and would also urge reconsideration from a state level regarding prior cuts.

What are your thoughts on the need for a new county jail? How should the county proceed?

Safety, soundness and security are key issues surrounding the current structure and staff.

While replacement figures seem astounding, the assessment conducted considering all facets of operation indicate it is favorable in the long run. Assessment results need to become widely available to residents so they can make an informed decision when they have the final say.

Describe any other priorities or concerns and how you would address them:

It would be my priority to work diligently for every resident of Clinton County, listen to their concerns and react with honesty, integrity and fairness.

I also believe I can steer that course of action for residents because I care about how our money is spent. I have raised four children alone and understand what it takes to prioritize, budget and remain flexible to achieve the best possible outcome.

I am prepared to take on the challenge of complex matters that are the responsibility of a supervisor to ensure the best quality of life for residents in the communities and rural areas across the county.

Jim West

Jim West, a lifelong resident of Clinton, graduated from St. Mary's High School in 1966 and earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science from St. Ambrose College in 1970.

He worked for several years in the family-owned plumbing and heating business, Petersen and West, and has worked for the last 32 years in the maintenance department of the Clinton Community School District.

He is an active member of Prince of Peace Church in Clinton and has coached Clinton Junior Baseball, Clinton Junior Basketball and was one of the first YMCA soccer coaches. He and his wife, Sherry, have two children and five grandchildren.

Why are you running for this office and what makes you qualified to serve?

I am running for office so I can work with and address the concerns of the residents of Clinton County. With my years of experience of working in the community to secure one-cent sales tax for the schools, several bond referendums and superintendent searches, that same enthusiasm will be directed toward efforts to improve the county.

Over the same period of time, I have served on the health insurance committee and negotiated contracts for the plant service employees. These experiences have taught me the need for understanding both sides of an issue and compromise to reach an end.

What are the biggest challenges/opportunities facing the county and how would you address them?

The challenge would be economic growth of the county. We can accomplish this growth by helping ourselves. Letting infrastructure contracts to local businesses that employ residents is an opportunity that should not be passed up. With the money from these projects staying in the county, those funds would roll around the county seven times before that money leaves the county.

What are your thoughts on the need for a new county jail? How should the county proceed?

I am in favor of a new jail, because it makes no sense to outsource inmate care to another county. Tax dollars are leaving the county and not helping the residents whatsoever.

By constructing a jail facility with local contractors and workers, we put residents to work and we stop the outsourcing of inmate care. The first step in accomplishing this would be to inform the residents of how this could be a positive savings to the county budget.


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