Vote for Holly Brink

Dear Editor,

I’m voting for Holly Brink on Nov. 6. I encourage your readers in Iowa House District 80 to do the same.

Simply put — Holly Brink gets southern Iowa. She should — she’s a life-long resident. She knows firsthand the struggles and rewards of business owners in our area — because she IS one. She feels the difficult economic realities faced by farmers and farmhers — she and her husband own and operate a farm, yet both work regular jobs to make ends meet and provide for their young children. She knows that the positive future of our great state depends on our children receiving the best education possible — while also making sure that southern Iowa taxpayers receive the best value for their educational investment.

All I really know for sure about Holly Brink’s opponent from her debate comments is that she seems terribly worried about losing her IPERS. I don’t know why. The Republican Party of Iowa’s platform makes no mention of “gutting” IPERS. The head official of said party, Governor Kim Reynolds, relies on the same pension system for her own retirement, so it seems silly to think she would want to defund it. Yet, this dire fearmongering concern is trumpeted by Susan McDanel and her Democrat cohorts as an actual issue. Sounds like scare tactics and fake news to me.

By the way, two more great things about Holly Brink: she’s as pro-life and pro-second amendment as they come.

Help vote this enthusiastic southern Iowa voice into the Iowa State House to represent us.

Vote Holly Brink.

Thanks for listening,

Edwin Brand, MPA


Vote for Susan McDanel

Dear Editor,

It is with enthusiasm that I endorse Susan McDanel for the Iowa House of Representatives. Susan is committed to working in a positive manner and I believe she will be an effective advocate for everyone in House District 80.

If Susan is elected, we’ll have great representation and a fabulous voice in Des Moines. Susan was a nationally board-certified teacher, participates in several organizations and works on many committees. She is intelligent, fair and honest.

I appreciate Susan’s thoughtful leadership and I’ve seen how she considers people’s opinions and weights alternatives to develop reasonable and positive outcomes. She knows how government works and has a great demeanor for the position.

Voting is an important and valuable right and I know that Susan is committed to governing well.

I encourage you to join me and cast your vote for Susan McDanel for Iowa House District 80 on Nov. 6.

Merry Dudley


County fortunate to have foundation

Dear Editor,

Appanoose County was very fortunate to have one of the most successful conservation board programs in the state of Iowa until Mark Waits was elected to the Board of Supervisors. Funding for the programs was and still is ranked dead last of all 99 counties per capita value for money spent on conservation. In spite of this, with the help of the Appanoose Conservation Foundation, the Appanoose County Conservation Board was able to accomplish many things that even the larger counties could not do or even dream to do.

The best example has been the cabins of Lelah Bradley Park that were built under the direction of former Appanoose Conservation Director Mark Hoffman with a finished cost of over a half-million-dollars and generate approximately $10,000 a year in property and motel taxes.

Incidentally, the sole purpose of the ACF is to raise monies for the continued improvement of conservation in Appanoose County, and they have raised over $3.2 million to date for the Appanoose County Conservation Board.

Cindy Keene


Board turnover should be questioned

Dear Editor,

In retrospect, after Waits appointed himself to the Appanoose County Conservation Board, two of the board members resigned. Of the eight people that Waits has since appointed in the last four years to his board that he is chairman of, only three remain and are still serving on the board. The question should be asked, why the continuous turnover of board members? Some members last less than a few meetings.

The members of Appanoose Conservation Foundation have attended ACCB open-to-the-public meetings at the Nature Center only to be told that they couldn’t speak even after asking to be placed on the agenda and told their assistance wasn’t wanted. Their director was even prohibited from speaking to any members of the ACF or have any communications with the ACF by a motion of their board.

Sandra Hoffman


Fight with foundation costing money

Dear Editor,

Mr. Mark Waits has boasted about great accomplishments since he has been on the Board of Supervisors. For example, the restroom at Lelah Bradley Park, to be finished in 2019. In reality, the Appanoose Conservation Foundation was taking bids on the restrooms and they would have been finished in 2016, three years earlier for $75,000 with the county paying $35,000 and the foundation $40,000. Now, with not working with the ACF, the cost to the taxpayer will be at least $85,000 or more.

The Ranger House at Sharon Bluffs was built in a similar matter. The house was built by the ACF and ACCB, specifically for a county employee to live in and provide security for Sharon Bluffs Park. It was then donated to the county, in which they gave it back to the ACF because they did not want to assume responsibility for maintenance, insurance and taxes, and to settle a concern with a state audit. This was approved by the county board of supervisors, county attorney and attested to by the county auditor.

The ACF has collected rent on the ranger house and these monies have been used for house maintenance, insurance, property taxes and for further conservation projects.

Now, the county in their pending lawsuit, want all the rent payments back since the legal transfer began. Everything was done legally and approved by the Board of Supervisors, county attorney and attested to by the county auditor Linda Demry.

Kenneth Phelps


Charity designation is key

Dear Editor,

The State of Iowa Auditor’s Office may have been told by someone that the ACF was solely a private foundation. And if that had been the case, the present county board of supervisors and county attorney would be correct and the land transfers would have been illegal. To me, that seems to be a big part of the problem. The state of Iowa did not check our status with the Appanoose Conservation Foundation or the IRS.

Unfortunately, the county supervisors, county attorney and State of Iowa Auditor’s Office refused to listen to our explanation, even after presenting evidence that we were a public charitable foundation, not a private foundation as set forth by the Internal Revenue Service in 1988 and reaffirmed on two more occasions.

I personally attended a county board of supervisors meeting in February 2016 after requesting to appear on the agenda, and presented our documented findings to the board and gave a copy to then-Daily Iowegian editor Michael Schaffer, who chose not to print it.

Kris Koestner


Is lawsuit good use of money?

Dear Editor,

Mark Waits has been quoted as saying, “we need to be very wise in how we spend our money ... not our money, your money and my money. We need to watch every penny to be sure it’s being spent wisely.”

The county attorney has recently been asked how much monies they have expended to date for legal proceedings against the ACF. No definite answer could be given.

A question should be asked, how is suing a publicly-supported organization that again has raised more than $3.2 million doing any good? Mr. Waits is spending your taxpayer dollars to fight an organization that has successfully raised millions of dollars to support conservation in Appanoose County.

As been said before, between the road grader and county engineer fiasco and this unwarranted attack on a public charitable foundation, we need a change in leadership.

Common sense has to start somewhere. Go to the polls and vote for comment sense and a change on the board of supervisors. Then hopefully we can all get back to working together for the betterment of Appanoose County.

Respectfully submitted,

Jim Thomas