Kinser looking forward to new year

New city administrator upbeat about 2017


City Administrator Jessica Kinser celebrated her one month anniversary on the job earlier this month by talking about the town she now calls home.

Talking points included Marshalltown’s attributes, areas for improvement and communication

The timing was perfect.

She had recently met with city department heads, residents, and community leaders.

Kinser replaced Randy Wetmore, who resigned in mid-July to take a similar position in Statesboro, Ga.

She was asked about first impressions.

“There is a lot happening in Marshalltown,” she said. “This is a place where the city does not have to do everything … there is not a reliance on (city) government to address every issue. A lot of people and organizations have found their niche, and said, ‘we will address this.’

Consequently, Kinser said there was much to celebrate.

That served as a segue to areas of improvement.

“How do we continually improve (Marshalltown) … how do we make ourselves that unique community … how do we make Marshalltown the community where people want to live and work?”

Communicating to residents about issues impacting city government will be a priority, and she identified several opportunities.

Specifically, Kinser said she has talked with Marshall Economic Development Impact Committee President Tom Deimerly about methods to get the message out about tax increment financing.

TIF is an economic development tool authorized by the state.

“It re-allocates property tax revenues which are produced as a result of an increase in taxable valuation above a “base valuation” figure within a TIF area. Until the TIF debt within an area has been repaid, tax revenues produced by tax levies imposed on the increased taxable valuation by a city, county, school district, area school or any other taxing jurisdictions are allocated back to the city or county which has established the TIF area, and must be spent by that jurisdiction for projects within that area,” according to attorney Robert Josten of Dorsey & Whitney of Des Moines.

“How does TIF work … what have been the benefits … for example, TIF played a major role in making the Hy-Vee development (at South Center Street and East Anson Street) possible,” said Kinser. “Hy-Vee paid $145,000 in property taxes last year and a TIF investment made it possible.”

Other topics of interest to Kinser included maintaining city service levels, creatively supplementing tax revenue with other funding sources and state funding.

Her experience in Clinton, where she worked five years as finance director and city administrator, as well as previous appointments elsewhere made her an attractive candidate to the council.

Kinser has a bachelor’s degree in political science and in English – Rhetorical Studies from ISU (2005) and a Master of Public Administration (2007) also from ISU.


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