If I am given the honor and privilege of being re-elected to the Wayne County Board of Supervisors I hope to see the economic progress that we have made in the last four years continue.
When I was first elected in 2015, my goal was to try and stop what I saw as the slow decline of Wayne County and its cities and towns. Since then with the help of many people I think we are seeing the tide turn. I have worked with the other two Supervisors as well as members of state and local governments to bring progress to the area. With the expansion of East Penn we have an opportunity to see many good things come to our area. I fell we will have an opportunity to see new business’s expand and increased school enrollment.
As a member of the Wayne County Development Corporation we have made loans to startup and existing businesses. We have also been aggressively pursuing options for housing in the area. A dedicated group of people has recently started the Wayne County Housing Group with the goal of addressing the lack of housing in all of Wayne County’s cities and towns. We recently hired McClure Engineering to do a three-part study for housing in Wayne County where they will assess housing needs, evaluated existing housing and identify funding sources.
It is an exciting time to live in Wayne County. Wayne County is a great place and as a supervisor I also feel my job is to make sure the other departments are giving the citizens of Wayne County the best possible service while being fiscally responsible with tax dollars.
We recently accepted the resignation of our County Engineer Trevor Wolf when he had an opportunity to land a job close to his parent’s farm in Ringgold County. We hated to lose him but understand why he took a job in Taylor County.
We have hired another southwest Iowa Boy as our new county engineer. Jeff Skalberg, originally from Red Oak, has hit the ground running and will be an asset to the secondary road department.
The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office has recently taken over duties and responsibilities of policing the City of Corydon. They have added two deputies including Wayne County’s first female Deputy Brennan Banks.
Wayne County is a great place and as a member of the conservation board I am proud to support our conservation director and her staff. They have done a great job maintaining and improving our parks. We have shower houses in all four parks and have been adding boat docks, playground equipment and kayak launchers most of which have been donated by our great Wayne County citizens as a result the use of our parks has skyrocketed.
I moved to Wayne County in 1977 after serving three years in the U. S. Army. It was a great place to live then and is a great place to live now. If given the honor of being re-elected I pledge I will continue to work with everyone to try and make it even better.
I have many goals that I would like to accomplish if elected to the Wayne County Board of Supervisors. I would like to focus on a few for the purpose of this article. First and foremost I would like to spend some time with each office in the courthouse and get a full understanding of what each office does. I want to learn the processes and procedures of each office. This will allow me to answer questions that concerned residents may have and I think it will be an excellent way of bringing the courthouse together. We are all on the same team and I think there have been times in the past where not all county employees felt like that. I plan on keeping regular office hours in the courthouse, which will allow easier access to myself but will also allow me to learn the nuances of each office.
My next goal would be to update the supervisor’s office and bring it into the 21st Century. There is currently no computer in the supervisor’s office and our supervisors can be difficult to reach at times. Our current supervisors use their personal emails. Each supervisor needs to have their own Wayne County email address that can accessed from the office computer or by phone. I want to be accessible to the residents of Wayne County. Upgrading the technology in the courthouse will help with accessibility but will also allow us to be more efficient with our time.
Addressing our housing crisis is another goal that I will be focused on. I have been working on addressing our housing needs for a few years. Myself and a few other Wayne County residents have been actively putting together a plan that will allow our county to provide quality, affordable housing across Wayne County. Increased population would help alleviate some of our tax burden and my goal is for Wayne County’s population to increase over the next four years. In order for that to happen it will take all of us working together. I envision us working on a community engagement process that reconnects people with what they love most about their communities. This includes all residents regardless of age or location.
After the Seymour tornado I saw first hand what we can accomplish when we all work towards a common goal. I have been in contact with various organizations from around the county and I get the sense that everyone agrees that it is time for us to come together as a county.
The final goal I want to mention today is in regards to our county parks. I serve on the Wayne County Conservation Foundation. We are blessed to have so many great parks throughout Wayne County. I have been working the past few years to get camp sites installed at Seymour Lake Park. We have water and electricity installed and hope to put in some camp sites next year. My goal is ensure that we maintain our beautiful parks and possibly expand our park system in the future. Tourism is not a word that gets used much when describing Wayne County but we have some of the most picturesque parks in the state and we need to invite more people to come to Wayne County and enjoy them.
These are just a few of the main goals I would like to accomplish over the next four years. Over the past nine years as Mayor of Seymour I have accomplished every goal that I set out to achieve and then some. We have completed large projects such as asphalting new streets and rehabilitating the storm and sanitary sewers. Some projects were smaller in scope such constructing a new recycling center or simply installing new street signs. We worked with the Wayne Community Foundation and constructed a new fire station as well.
I have proven over the past nine years as Mayor of Seymour that I can tackle a large project and get it completed. Money is the main reason why a project cannot be completed. I can promise you that if money is the only thing holding a project up I can find the funding. Seymour has received over $2.5 million is CDBG grants over the past nine years. I have made some nice connections over the years and will not let a lack of funding be the reason we cannot accomplish our goals.
My primary motivation in running for supervisor is I want to make Wayne County a better place to live and raise my family. I want this job and I think I have done more than enough as Mayor of Seymour to prove that I am capable of performing the duties required. Thank you for your time.
My goals if re-elected to the Wayne County Board of Supervisors would include:
1. A fair, realistic and conservative budget that meets the fiscal and legal needs of Wayne County citizens.
2. Applying for grants and finding partners to meet housing and infrastructure needs as we grow in population and economic activity the next few years.
3. Work with interested and active citizens to prioritize and fund quality of life measures such as a child care and expanded wellness facility, support the Fair Board in their efforts to reorganize the placement and structures at the fairgrounds, support the expansion of the museum, support the congregate meals and senior centers.
4. Find ways to partner with all the communities in the county to help improve streets, rehabilitate or remove uninhabitable houses and support efforts to bring new businesses to their main streets.
5. As the new economic activity and tax base grows in the next several years, find ways in the budget to reward employees of our county with improved and competitive salaries and health plans.
6. Find ways that meet approval of the State Auditor to reward and find incentives for local citizens that construct middle income housing anywhere in the county.
7. To continue to be part of an experienced Board of Supervisors where each member is equal and to support each other as we serve on the many boards the position requires.
I hope to accomplish all of the above goals and any new opportunities that may arise in the next term.
For those of you that don’t know me I’d like to tell you a little about myself. My name is Tom Swearingin and I am a Republican candidate for Wayne County Supervisor. My parents Ross and Marian Swearingin moved here from Illinois in 1964 to a farm south of Sewal when I was one year old where I still live today with my wife Kim Swearingin.
I graduated from Seymour Community School in 1980 at which time I began farming with my parents, brother-in-law and sister Donnie and Carol Fenton of the Clio area at that time. In 1982 I married my best friend Kim Brown, daughter of Bob and Wanda Brown of the Bethlehem area.
In 1984 we purchased my parents farm. Kim and I worked together to have a successful farming operation and raised three wonderful daughters that we are very proud of.
Jamie, whom is employed with SCICAP, has one son Hunter. Jenna who is employed at Peoples Bank and is married to Chase Porter and has two children, Kinzi and Chelsey. Our youngest daughter Katelyn lives in the Greenfield area and is a second grade teacher at Nodaway Valley. We are very proud of our girls and grand children and I do not tell them that often enough.
In 2012 we decided to downsize our farming operation. I always have had a passion for hunting, shooting and guns, so in 2014 T/K Guns was born. Our gun shop and sporting goods store. We were not sure how this new venture would turn out bit it has turned out to be a very successful business and I am enjoying it very much. If elected I plan on adjusting my hours to be able to serve Wayne County every day of the week if needed.
Every venture Kim and I have taken on, we have done together from the finances to working cattle together, planting, harvesting, raising our three girls and working the fair board together for many years with a great group of friends. I have heard some concerns about both of us working for the county.
Before I took out nominations papers we contacted the Secretary of State and Iowa Ethics Board to be sure the Iowa Code allowed a husband and wife to hold elected positions and any concerns or problems we needed to be aware of and there were none. Now I am not going to tell you after 36 years of marriage that Kim and I have always agreed on every issue because we have not, but we can and will keep our professional and personal lives separate.
I have been told I am not a very good politician, but I will NOT put down, criticize or be rude to the candidates for their views or the way they have done their jobs. If that makes me a bad politician, so be it, but I think that makes me a good candidate for office. I have always tried to live my life with Honor, Integrity and a good work ethic and want to pass these on to my children and grandchildren and do not intend to compromise that.
If I am elected I plan to spend time with every department of the county and get a better working knowledge of what they do and how they do it.
The promise I make to the people of Wayne County is to do the best job I possibly can.
I’m Angie Horton and I have served as the Wayne County Recorder for almost 18 years. As an elected county official, I believe this job starts with great customer service. We are here to serve the public and tax payers of this county.
Over the years, I have seen and been a part of the way Iowa County Recorder’s have advanced the way they conduct business on every level striving to provide the best customer service. With advancement of technology, Recorders all across the state are now able to access the Iowa Dept of Public Health’s data base to obtain certain vital records (birth, death and marriage records) not only for their county, but all counties in Iowa. Stakeholders such as banks and attorneys are now able to submit real estate documents for recording online through the Iowa Land Records website, which speeds up the recording process tremendously.
Recorders now have access to the Iowa Dept of Natural Resources database which enables us to access individual’s files, provide customers with hunting and fishing licenses and register ATV’s and Boats more proficiently.
Over the years, I have implemented several things to provide better customer service. One is the purchase of a printer and camera that enables us to provide passport pictures for our customers saving them time and money by not having to travel somewhere else to do this.
After evaluating the limited storage space in our vault where records and files are stored, I decided to go paperless, so to speak. At the beginning of 2018 we are now using the capability of scanning most documents and files and have done away with the need to keep hard copies. This is a money and space saver since we no longer have a need to purchase so many of the expensive record books and the record book paper.
Also, preserving our existing records and documents is a must and an ongoing project. Some preservation is done by professionals, but some can be done by us in the office. For instance, for about the last year, I have been working to scan some of old records and files and enter the data from those into our data base to make those records easier to access plus it is just another way to back up and protect that information.
As a way to keep the Recorder’s office current with technology, a new software program will be installed after the first of the year. I have been working with our main software provider since the beginning of this year to prepare for the installation and the data conversion which will take place soon. This software is part of the software program that the Treasurer, Auditor and Assessor began using several years ago. Once installed, training will be provided, but knowledge of how the office operates will play a huge part in understanding how the implementation of the new software will be beneficial not only to the Recorder’s office, but to the other offices in the courthouse, abstractors and title searchers.
As you can see, much has been accomplished over the years, but there is more to be done. If re-elected as your county recorder, what I would like to accomplish and what my goals are will be to continue to be dedicated to implementing policies and procedures to make accessing and processing public records easier, making sure the office is up to date with technology needed to operate efficiently, continue to preserve records and provide the best customer service possible.
One of my main goals will be to take older real estate documents, index them, scan them and load them to the Iowa Land Records website. This does two things. One, it makes more records available for those searching online, and two it is another way to assure records are preserved digitally not only on the county server, but online with Iowa Land Records.
I have the experience and I am knowledgeable to continue to advance the Recorder’s office. I ask for your support and your vote in this General Election. Thank you.
In the office of the Wayne County Recorder the bulk of the duties are mandated by the state leaving few areas available for improvement. If I am elected to this position I hope to accomplish and maintain a great working relationship with the other offices. It takes all the offices working together in harmony county run efficiently. I also want to put my 20+ years of experience in the service industry to work by creating a friendly environment, on where the customer comes first. I want the people of Wayne County to feel comfortable coming to the Recorders Office, after all, we are there to serve the community.