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School board, council candidates headline Oct. 29 public forum

Sponsored by Chamber of Commerce

T-R FILE PHOTO
Leon Lamer, city councilman, standing, is shown answering a question at an October 2015 candidate forum hosted by the local Chamber of Commerce and Times-Republican at the Fisher Community Center.

Local Marshalltown candidates will all converge at an Oct. 29 forum.

Residents will have an opportunity to see all school board and city council candidates in action at the Fisher Community Center, 709 S. Center St.

The forum is sponsored and moderated by the Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce.

School board candidates will answer questions first, followed by city council candidates at 6:30 p.m.

Competing for four seats on the school board are Nicholas “Niko” Aquirre, Sara Faltys, Sean Heitmann, Jan McGinnis and Bob Untiedt.

Aquirre and Heitmann are incumbents.

School board positions are unpaid.

School board members help staff set goals and priorities for the district.

Open enrollment, proposed year-round school, and air conditioning for Marshalltown High School are several issues facing candidates in the Nov. 5 election.

City council

There are five candidates for the city council.

They are Gabe Isom, Tyler Johnson, Bruce McConnell, Gary Thompson and Dex Walker.

Isom is the lone incumbent.

He and Johnson are competing for the second ward seat.

McConnell, Thompson and Walker are vying for an open at-large seat made available when Leon Lamer decided not to run for a second four-year term.

Al Hoop is running unopposed.

All five candidates will be featured in Q&A articles in the Times-Republican beginning Monday.

All city council terms are four years, and councilors are paid slightly more than $3,000 annually.

Council meetings are the second and fourth Monday of the month in city council chambers.

The city council is facing an issue of how to provide an increasing demand for more services while limiting tax increases, an aging infrastructure of streets, sewers and more and concern that the Iowa Legislature may reduce or eliminate the commercial property tax rollback feature.

Marshalltown has received approximately $480,000 annually for several years from this fund, while Marshall County has received a lesser amount.

The legislature enacted the “rollback” feature when it significantly reduced commercial property taxes state-wide a number of years ago.

Rollback funds replace lost commercial property tax funds.

It was unclear at time of press what the state legislature’s plans are for rollback for the new session beginning January 2020.