With the presidential election garnering much of the media and national attention, state and local candidates seeking election or re-election on this year’s ballot are often overshadowed. As we have less than two weeks to the general election, I want to remind you to look critically at all names on the ballot, not just those at the very top, and remember that decisions made by your local officials are the ones that impact your day-to-day life.
We are extremely fortunate to live in a vibrant and financially thriving community. Because of outstanding local leadership at the state, county, and municipal levels, Ames and Story County continue to flourish. Story County is one of the few counties in Iowa that has seen consistent population growth in recent years. Our municipal and county financial house is in order and with strong and growing budgets, we continue to see investment throughout the community that equates to a high quality of life here in Story County.
The candidates on this year’s ballot are the individuals that will make decisions on your behalf in the State Legislature or Story County Administration. At the county level, elected offices on this year’s ballot will have direct control over the funding of programs that keep us moving forward. They will ensure the Conservation District in the Iowa State University Research Park is seen to fruition and that the Story County Comprehensive Plan, Strategic Plan, and Comprehensive Conservation and Recreation Plan are successfully implemented. They will work to guarantee services are continually offered to smaller communities throughout the county maintaining a high standard of living for all residents, and that economic and community development are front and center as the county continues to grow. Story County is very fortunate to have the lowest property tax levy of all 99 counties. Successes such as these do not happen by accident, they are a direct result of strong and visionary leadership at the local level.
Elected officials at the state level will make determinations on Iowa State University’s state appropriations moving forward, as well as the appropriations to the Iowa Department of Transportation, and Des Moines Area Community College. They formulate and implement policies that can have major implications for the City of Ames, Story County, and our neighboring municipalities, and oversee state programs that have directly impacted several major employers here in Ames and throughout Story County.
Although presidential and national races tend to receive the most attention, as we move closer to the 2016 General Election on Tuesday, November 8th, please don’t forget the impact our state and local elected officials have on your daily life. To the consistent, steady, and reliable voters, thank you for capitalizing on one of our most fundamental rights as Americans: the right to vote. To those who do not consider themselves politically active and maybe have never voted before, there is no time like the present. All necessary voter and election materials can be attained at the Story County Auditor’s Office (900 6th St. in Nevada) or on their website, www.storycountyiowa.gov under the “Story County Spotlight” sidebar.
This election is about much more than the White House. What happens at the local level matters. Make sure you are heard this election season and join the Ames Chamber of Commerce in voting your voice on Tuesday, November 8th!