letter to the editor logo

Kearns details her Ward 4 campaign

Dear Readers: Imagine my thoughts when I opened the Clinton Herald on Oct. 29 and saw myself in the 2019 Voter’s Guide, after I turned down the interview because I didn’t feel it was the Clinton Herald’s place to “score” the candidates. I was confused to say the least. It appears as though my answers were compiled from the Chamber Forum, which had specific questions.

After a conversation with Charlene Bielema, I asked if I might send a letter to the editor and have it printed. The answer was yes. So, here goes…

My name is Rhonda Kearns. I am running for Clinton’s City Council, 4th Ward. I grew up in Lyons, graduated from Clinton High School in 1981. I went to Mel Foster’s School of Real Estate in Schaumburg, Illinois and took Continuing Ed classes at the College of DuPage.

While in Clinton, I worked at Kopp’s Market on 2nd Street and Nielsen Clearing House. For my last 23 years of employment I worked for Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc. in Itasca, IL and retired from there in 2015 as a business analyst.

My husband and I have been back in Clinton full time for 4 years. We love this town. You don’t have to look far to notice the decline in some of our neighborhoods. This is where my platform begins:

1. We need to focus on cleaning up our neighborhoods.

2. We need to work with the police and enforce laws that are already on the books. Hold people accountable for following the law and being good neighbors.

3. We need to hold landlords responsible for the people they rent to. Far too many landlords live out of town and don’t have a clue as to what is happening in their rental properties next to our homes.

4. We need to figure out these abandoned properties. Get them on a demo list or a rehab list. Neighbors can step up if they want the property and do the demo themselves, in some cases.

5. I am already on a committee with Councilman Schemers to update the animal ordinances we have on the books and work with the Animal Control Officer to enforce.

6. I would like to see North River Drive happen. It will help Main Avenue which is a plus for the entire city of Clinton.

7. Government Grants – I am not against them. In fact, I think they are great as long as we have the money to support why we are obtaining the grant.

I say “we” because the Council person is a voice for the public. I cannot do it without you. I would love your support. I would like to hear your ideas if I am elected. Vote November 5th!

A thank you to the Clinton Herald for printing this. I don’t know what questions they asked the other candidates. But I’m happy I was able to get this in print, and I’m confident we will be able to support each other going forward.

Warmest Regards,

Rhonda Kearns, Clinton

Reader: Reelect Vulich to mayoral seat

The City of Clinton needs younger folks to step forward and become involved in city government. While I appreciate the fact that we have had someone new toss his hat in the ring for mayor of Clinton, I do not believe that jumping into the deep end of the pool before learning to swim is a good idea.

Young folks need to get involved in the community: Chamber, Economic Development Bureau or the many committees that the city has. The city has a $20 million budget that must operate very efficiently because it is taxpayer money and we all demand that.

Finally, even though the position of mayor is not full time, it does require many hours a week beyond the Tuesday night meetings and does require many full days of travel to meet with local, state and federal officials. It is very difficult to be a mayor and hold another full-time job.

There is a learning curve in city government as with any other elected office or position. Clinton is at a pivotal point and progressing in a positive direction in regard to budget, infrastructure, crime reduction and improving the look of the city. This is not the time to take our foot off of the gas and elect a mayor-in-training.

Mayor Vulich has paid his dues as a council person for two terms and as our mayor for the last two terms. He has proven his dedication to the betterment of our community and has the experience and knowledge that Clinton needs at this time. Please join me in re-electing Mayor Mark Vulich.

Nola Fanger, Clinton

Help shape Democratic party’s direction

Have you been at a Democratic caucus and wondered what was going on and why did it take so long to get registered and then wait for the action to begin?

I was in that position in 2016 and decided to do something. I answered the call to become a member of the county central committee member from my precinct, be a delegate to the county convention, and work on the platform committee to help develop the county platform for that year.

I would like to invite you to get involved and shape the direction of the party. Here is what you can do:

If you are not already registered as a Democrat then submit a voter registration form either online at the Iowa Secretary of State’s Website, https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/voterinformation/voterregistration.html or in-person to the County Auditor’s office before the end of this year. When you do this your name will be on the list for your precinct caucus. Even if you don’t register as a Democrat in advance you will still be able to do so on Feb. 3. You can get through the line easier if you are already a registered Democrat.

Learn more about how the caucus works by doing a little homework. Visit https://iowademocrats.org/2020-more-caucus-documents/ and read the 2020 Delegate Selection Plan or, better yet take, the training to become a precinct chair or very knowledgeable volunteer at https://action.iowademocrats.org/page/s/2020-caucus-training. You can also just volunteer to help run your precinct caucus. Contact your current central committee member(s) from your precinct, call our county headquarters at 242-9064, or fill out the volunteer form https://action.iowademocrats.org/page/s/caucus-volunteers on the state party website.

On Feb. 3 attend your precinct caucus and run to be a delegate to the county convention from your Presidential preference group. If you aren’t elected to be a delegate be sure to be an alternate (every preference group can have an unlimited number of alternates). When it comes time for your precinct to elect people to serve on the organizing committees for the county convention only delegates and alternates can be elected. You can work on the platform committee or on a thing called the Committee on Committees. This Committee on Committees will meet and break into three committees. There is a rules and nominations committee, which will form the suggested rules for the county convention and oversee all of the nominations and elections. There is a credentials committee, which oversees the seating of delegates and, if needed, seat alternates to take the place of any missing delegates. The third committee is the arrangements committee, which oversees the convention location and provision of food and drink for the convention. The county convention will be held on March 21, 2020.

Finally, you can run to be a member of the county central committee. The central committee meets monthly on the third Tuesday. Each precinct can elect three committee members and two alternates. These meetings, like all meetings of the Democratic party, are open to the public. Get involved. Make change happen.

Bill Jacobs, Clinton