Candidates in contested city and school board races share views prior to November 5 election; Funding measures also on ballots

Waukon Mayor... Arvid Hatlan, Pat Stone

Lansing Mayor... Bill Burke, Kyle Walleser

ACSD Board of Directors - District 3... Beth Shafer, Tony Smith

EACSD Board of Directors - District 2... Tony Becker, Bruce Palmborg, Krista Rasque

EACSD Board of Directors - District 1... Bobbie Goetzinger, Stacie Strong

Waukon City Council - At-Large... John Ellingson, Scott Panos

New Albin City Council - At-Large... Anna Fee, Alexie Grotegut, Elizabeth Ristey, Alberto Whitlach

The Tuesday, November 5 election will be the first time the state of Iowa will hold both city government and school board elections simultaneously, following a law passed by the Iowa Legislature in 2017. Sample ballots of the respective races within each level of government in this year’s election were published throughout the B section of the October 23 (last week’s) issue of this newspaper.

A listing of polling sites for all 11 of Allamakee County’s voting precincts was also printed on Page 4B in that October 23 issue of The Standard. Election polls will be open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. November 5.

In an effort to help inform voters prior to their venture to the polls November 5, The Standard issued a questionnaire to each of the candidates in the area city government and school board races being contested on this year’s election ballot. The series of questions asked and each candidate’s responses to those questions can be found on this same Front Page, as well as Page 2A, and will continue to additional pages, as noted, inside this week’s issue.

The questionnaires were sent to candidates who are vying for a position that has more candidates running for the position than the ballot instructions indicate to vote for. For example, there are two candidates in each of the mayor races for the City of Waukon and the City of Lansing, but the ballot instructs voters to vote for no more than one.

In addition to those governmental and educational leadership offices up for election on the November 5 ballot, voters in some precincts will have a variety of funding measures to consider for new implementation or renewal. Details of each of those funding measures can be found in shaded boxes accompanying this article to the left and to the right. Voters who are rural residents of Allamakee County will have a request for implementing a seven-percent hotel/motel tax payable by visitors who stay in lodging facilities in the unincorporated (rural) areas of the county. Voters in the Allamakee Community School District will also have two additional funding measures to consider on the November 5 ballot, including the continuation of the existing Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) at its current rate for another 10 years and the adoption of a Revenue Purpose Statement that broadens the use of existing funding from the State of Iowa Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) Fund to now include school safety purposes.

Five area communities covered by The Standard will each have mayoral and city council races listed on this year’s ballot. Just two of those five mayor races will be contested this year, with only three incumbent mayors seeking re-election in those five communities.
In the Waukon Mayor race, incumbent mayor Pat Stone is being challenged by current Waukon City Council Ward 3 representative Arvid Hatlan, whose council seat is not set to expire for another two years. Both are currently in the first term of their respective City of Waukon governmental roles.

The other contested mayoral race is in Lansing, where incumbent mayor Mike Brennan will not be seeking another term. Current Lansing City Council member Kyle Walleser and former council member William Burke have both declared their candidacy for that open mayoral seat.
Remaining incumbent mayors Joshua Dreps of New Albin and Dave Monserud of Waterville will both be seeking re-election unopposed in this year’s election. Although not a current incumbent, Harpers Ferry will be seeing some familiarity in its lone candidate for mayor as Jerry Valley has declared his candidacy once again, replacing current mayor Bill Nation, who is not seeking re-election after being appointed to that seat earlier this year following the resignation of previously-elected Richard Smrcina.

Two of those same five communities - Waukon and New Albin - will each have one contested race within their city councils. The remaining three communities each have a number of candidates equal to or less than the number of council seats up for election this year.

The contested race within the Waukon City Council lies in one of its two At-Large seats, where incumbent John Ellingson is facing a challenge from Scott Panos. The other council seat up for election is in Ward 2, where incumbent John Lydon is seeking re-election to that seat unopposed.

The Board of Trustees for Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon also has three candidates declared on the ballot for election to three positions on the board. Those three candidates include incumbents Matt Goltz, Kevin Hanson and Dennis Lyons.

New Albin is where the other contested city council race will take place, as four candidates are vying for three seats up for election on the council. Incumbent Alexie Grotegut is the only one of those four candidates who is seeking re-election, with the other three declared candidates being Anna Fee, Elizabeth Ristey and Alberto Whitlatch. Incumbent City Treasurer Diane Erbe is also up for re-election unopposed on this year’s ballot in New Albin.

Lansing has two At-Large council seats up for election, with just one declared candidate filing papers. Incumbent Bruce ReVoir is seeking re-election to the council, with the other seat being vacated by Kyle Walleser’s declared candidacy for Lansing Mayor and needing to be filled either by write-in vote or appointment.

Harpers Ferry has three declared candidates for three At-Large council positions, including incumbent Sandi Riha, along with Tom Diggins and Daren Kaeppel. Likewise, Waterville also has an equal number of candidates for its five city council seats up for election, including Robbie Burrett, David Christianson, Jaclyn Hilleshiem, Jeff Mitchell and Jodi Van Iten.

Both the Allamakee Community School District (ACSD) and Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) will each have at least one contested race for their respective school boards. Both will have three seats up for election this year, with the ACSD having just one of those three seats being contested and the EACSD having two of three seats featuring contested races with multiple candidates.

In the Allamakee Community School District, the lone contested race will be in District 3, where recently appointed incumbent Beth Shafer will be challenged by Tony Smith. Shafer was recently appointed to the District 3 seat following the resignation of long-time board member Patty Nordheim. Erik Helgerson will be seeking re-election to his District 2 seat unopposed, and Brent Beyer is the lone declared candidate for the open District 4 seat which Tim Waters is not seeking re-election to after several years of board service.

In the Eastern Allamakee Community School District, two of three seats up for election will be contested, with incumbents seeking re-election to all three seats. Kelli Mudderman is running unopposed for her current At-Large seat. The District 1 seat will have incumbent Bobbie Goetzinger being challenged by Stacie Strong, and the District 2 seat will have incumbent Bruce Palmborg being challenged by both Tony Becker and Krista Rasque in a three-candidate race.

For more complete coverage including candidate responses, pick up this week's print edition or subscribe to our e-edition by clicking here.

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