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Two local residents seek to gain public favor in the upcoming special election on August 1.
Chandra Poore and Warren Angus will both appear on the special election ballot to fill a single vacant seat on the Mount Ayr City Council.
The position became open when councilman Jordan Stewert moved outside the city limits.
In an effort to assist voters in making an informed decision, the Record-News invited both candidates to respond to seven thought- provoking questions pertaining to the direction of city government, their priorities, and how they would best represent Mount Ayr residents. Their answers are presented as stated.
Warren Angus was born and raised south of town on his family farm and moved to town roughly 10 years ago.
Angus attended Iowa State University for a couple of years, and studied farm operations, later returning to the family farm where they raised Polled Herefords.
Through the 1990’s, Angus split his time between working for the Ringgold County Soil Conservation Service (NRCS) part-time and working part-time in construction.
In 2001, he went to the Bedford NRCS office full-time and retired on February 26, 2022.
Chandra Poore and her sister Chanelle were born and raised in Mount Ayr by Greg and Diane Drake. Chandra graduated from Mount Ayr in 2001 and has a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and minor in Special Education. She also has a Masters Degree in K-12 Strategist II (Special Education).
Favorite places to spend time in Mount Ayr:
I eat lunch at Rumors, get pop and donuts at Casey’s, get an ice cream cone from Dari Sweet, and get groceries at Hy-Vee. Theoretically, I’m retired, but I still work 14 hours a day some days. I work part-time for TEK Builders and part-time at United Farmers Co-op.
With young children, my family enjoys our local parks, going to the public library, and taking stroller rides around town frequently. Being a teacher, I also spend a lot of time at school!
Do you believe the city is heading in a positive direction?
Yes, I think so. I feel like we need to try to grow and improve things to attract people.
The city has completed new road and sewer infrastructure which is nice to see. Our upcoming garbage truck purchase, removal/cleanup of abandoned and nuisance properties, square/downtown rejuvenation projects, and additional street infrastructure in the planning stages show we are heading in the right direction.
How would you evaluate whether or not a new public infrastructure project (road, sewer, pool etc.), was worth implementing?
I would try to look at the cost to benefit ratio and consider how many people it would serve. It’s also important to think about how to improve the community at large, and not just the town.
I think utilizing data driven decision making is most important. We must also make decisions with fiscal responsibility to ensure budget sustainability for coming years.
What should be a priority for the city? How would you address that?
The number one priority should be reaching consensus and deciding upon whether to move forward with the Gold Center project including the indoor pool or the Gold Center and an outdoor pool. We need to get a swimming pool for the city with or without the Gold Center.
Longer term, a lack of good housing is a problem too. In order to attract people, we need to be able to have good places to live. I have heard that there were people who considered taking a job here, but couldn’t find a place to live, so they turned the job down.
With new Internet options and remote jobs available, the more people we can draw back to the community who want to escape the city. That’s why we need the Gold Center and a pool, to attract and retain our population. We’ve got to provide the amenities that younger people are looking for before they will relocate to the area.
I believe that our road infrastructure and building an outdoor pool should be a priority for the city. Our streets have been in need of repair for many years and this needs to be addressed as soon as possible. The city pool is an important amenity for all residents. I think implementing a priority based strategic plan in 1, 5, and 10 year increments will ensure an efficient and fiscally responsible approach to city planning.
If you received a $1 million grant to use for the city any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?
I would need to do more research, but I would tend to devote that money to the Gold Center. If that project is not feasible, I would move it to the outdoor pool. We need the career and technical education (CTE) center. It would be a great benefit to the community, if we can figure out how the community can afford it.
It would be important to survey the public to find what they feel would be the best use of the grant. Then, use that data to determine which avenue would be most appropriate.
How do you plan to involve Mount Ayr residents in the decision making process?
I plan to try to listen to everybody, become more informed of issues, and then vote on what would benefit the community.
I think listening to residents and getting their ideas however possible is a crucial factor of any council decision. With rapid changes in technology, there are many ways to gather community input. We should be utilizing all available resources to ensure that the council is serving the citizens of Mount Ayr. All major projects (that aren’t considered maintenance) involving $400k in public funds or more should be sent to public vote.
What difference would your election make to the future of Mount Ayr?
I’ve always tried to pay attention to what’s going on with the city and the county government and keep up with what’s going on in the community. I felt led to throw my name in the hat because I believe that you shouldn’t complain if you don’t get in there and try to help make things better.
I hope to bring unity and cohesiveness to the city council. I plan to collaborate with city leaders to improve the future of Mount Ayr through strategic and progressive planning to keep our community thriving. I would greatly appreciate your support on August 1.
For more information about the special election, please visit: https://ringgoldcountyelections.iowa.gov/