Supervisor candidates focus on mental health and hogs

 Supervisor candidates focus on mental health and hogs Main Photo

4 Oct 2018


Joe Sutter

Candidates for Webster County Supervisor focused on hog confinements, tax rates and mental health at a forum in Fort Dodge Wednesday night.

Republican incumbent Merrill Leffler talked about his business background and his six-year experience on the board.

An opponent, Democrat Niki Conrad, spoke of her business experience, especially in budgeting and dealing with customer complaints.

Independent Eugene Melvin Newsome implored the voters to give him a chance, and talked about big ideas for the region.

On the subject of the master matrix, which is set by state legislators to control the placement of large animal confinements, Leffler said the board has asked for changes from the state level.

 

 

 

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Webster County Supervisors 4th District candidate Eugene Newsome elected to stand during his opening remarks Wednesday night as fellow candidate Niki Conrad, at left, and current Supervisor Merrill Leffler, at right, listen during a Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance hosted forum at Iowa Central Community College.

Candidates for Webster County Supervisor focused on hog confinements, tax rates and mental health at a forum in Fort Dodge Wednesday night.

Republican incumbent Merrill Leffler talked about his business background and his six-year experience on the board.

An opponent, Democrat Niki Conrad, spoke of her business experience, especially in budgeting and dealing with customer complaints.

Independent Eugene Melvin Newsome implored the voters to give him a chance, and talked about big ideas for the region.

On the subject of the master matrix, which is set by state legislators to control the placement of large animal confinements, Leffler said the board has asked for changes from the state level.

“The matrix is a major issue we are dealing with,” he said. “I think that the matrix needs to be looked at. Not that it needs to be thrown out, it just needs to be tweaked. It is an old document.”

The supervisors’ hands are tied at the local level, he said.

Conrad said Iowa code dictates where confinements can be built.

“We have no authority to actually change it,” she said. “As with all issues, I will listen to at all sides presented to me by my constituents. If there’s anything that needs to be forwarded on to the state legislators, I would be happy to do that.”

Newsome said he would be eager to seek an audience at the state level. When he heard of people in Duncombe opposed to a hog confinement being built near the town, he said maybe the best thing would be to call for a moratorium on new buildings.

Full article.

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