Jill Davisson

Party: Republican; Age: 53

Residence: Calamus

Occupation: Farming

Political experience: Fourth term as supervisor

Education: Graduate of the Clinton Community College nursing program

Family: Husband Kevin, two grown sons and two granddaughters

What are the three most important issues in this race?

State and federal mandates with limited or no funding, economic development and mental health funding.

What is your approach to these issues?

County government is subject to many mandates. In fact, the majority of what we do is determined by these mandates. The revenue we have to fund these mandates and other services is limited to property taxes, state reimbursements, some fines and fees and the sales tax. This places most of the burden on the property owners. It is imperative that the Board of Supervisors works with our state and federal legislators to educate them to the impact these mandates have on the services that are provided to our county citizens. Open and frequent communication is the key to cooperative government. By setting politics aside and working on behalf of the people will accomplish many of our goals.

The present Board of Supervisors has an excellent working relationship with the economic development groups in our county and with the surrounding areas. We need to continue to enhance this relationship and work to bring new businesses and jobs to our area. We have an excellent work ethic in our people and our schools are providing highly educated individuals to fill these potential jobs. We need to market these assets and capitalize on this potential.

New legislation has created a potential crisis in our mental health funding. Iowa is the only state where property taxes are used to fund many of these services. Limiting or ending these services will not only create a problem for the consumer but will cost more because the preventive services and dollars will not be available. We need to work with our legislators and make them aware of the impact this new legislation will have on our citizens and the taxpayer. We need to advocate for those individuals who are not able to express their needs.

How do you differ from your opponents?

I believe I have the experience and knowledge to tackle these issues. I have developed relationships with individuals at the state level that will create an environment for open and honest dialogue.

Dennis Starling

Party: Democrat; Age: 60

Residence: 201 Corvette Court, Calamus

Occupation: Appraiser/auctioneer

Political experience: None

Education: BBA, University of Iowa

Family: Wife, Sally; no children

What are the three most important issues in this race?

Economic development,county budgeting and rural road maintenance.

What is your approach to these issues?

The board has ignored economic development and job creation, especially in rural areas and within smaller communities. In the past four years the board has failed to address job creation or job development opportunities for county residents, even after budgeting and spending more than $650,000 for county economic development. A county economic development plan must be developed and economic development funding allocated to projects that create permanent living wage jobs. The current property tax increases are a direct result of stagnant economic growth. Unfunded state and federal mandates and inflation continuously pressure the county budgeting process. Lack of expansion of the county tax base and increasing county revenue demands have caused tax increases that raise the tax burden on county property owners.

The solution to future property tax increases can only be addressed by spreading the cost of county government over an increasing economic base, which requires economic development.

Discretionary funding to non-county governmental groups should not be made until all required county services are fully funded. County taxpayers want county services fully funded and never reduced by non-county governmental funding requests. In the past, the supervisors have reduced spending on county services while maintaining some non-governmental funding. Priority budgeting must be implemented and then adhered to.

The county engineer has stated that rural road maintenance is 15 years behind schedule and the supervisors continue to cut rural road maintenance funding. Timely movement of agricultural products from the farm to processing markets are essential in order for our area farmers to profitably market their products. The supervisors have increased taxes on rural property owners for road maintenance and then cut funding for maintenance materials. The supervisors have budgeted $222,000 for weed control, yet the county weed commissioner has stated he does not have the time to manage the program. The program should be removed from Conservation and placed under Secondary Roads. As effective weed control and roadway mowing are time dependent, a pilot program to ascertain possible cost savings by contracting weed control and roadway mowing to private firms should be considered.

Lewis L. Todtz

Party: Republican; Age: 47

Residence: 3614 Ninth Street, Camanche,

Occupation: Owner/operator of a 350-acre family farm and current chairman of the Board of Supervisors

Political experience: 12 years on Board of Supervisors

Education: Camanche High School, 1978; Iowa State University degree in agricultural business with a minor in finance.

Family: Wife, Lynn, one son.

What are the three most important issues in this race?

Property tax is always our primary focus. The three issues that are effecting taxes most are Mental Health funding, Economic development and the Road Use Tax Fund formula.

What is your approach to these issues?

Mental Health will cost the county approximately $7 million this year. Recent changes the state has made in the State Payment Program and Adult Rehabilitation Option is a significant financial burden on the Counties and mental health providers but, most importantly, a detriment to our clients with mental disabilities. As president of the Bridgeview Community Health Center board, I see the alarming results of these changes. We need intervention by our legislators. Therefore, the supervisors will host a summit of county mental health staff, providers, clients and area legislators in December to discuss how to rescue a deteriorating system.

Twelve years ago, Clinton County had virtually no involvement in economic development. Today, we are a key partner in the development of Clinton County and the entire region. The supervisors have committed substantial resources and I, personally, have committed substantial time to economic development as a board member on the Clinton Regional Development Corp. and as chairman of the Clinton County Enterprise Zone Commission. Through these efforts we create opportunities for our local construction trades and quality jobs for our strong economic future.

There is constant pressure in the Legislature to re-distribute the state revenue collected from the fuel tax. There are proposals to increase the state and city portion while decreasing the county share. Our farm to market road system is essential to move our agricultural products to market and for the expansion of the emerging bio-technology industry in Clinton County. I will continue to fight, as I have in the past, to ensure we have a sound Secondary Roads system.

How do you differ from your opponents?

I differ from our challenger in that I become involved. I have 12 years of experience, hard work and proven results. I make the commitment everyday to be a part of every issue that affects the people of Clinton County and work relentlessly to make this the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family.