Supervisor candidates face off at forum

The four candidates vying for three open seats on the Crawford County Board of Supervisors are, from left, Ty Rosburg (R), of Charter Oak; Kyle Schultz (R), incumbent, of Charter Oak; Eric Skoog (R), incumbent, of Denison; and Jeri Vogt (D), of Dow City. Photo by Dan Mundt

Candidates for open seats on the Crawford County Board of Supervisors largely agreed on the major issues at the Chamber & Development Council (CDC) of Crawford County candidates forum on October 15.

Candidates for Crawford County Treasurer, Crawford County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) Board of Trustees, Crawford County Supervisor, and Iowa State Representative for District 12 were given the opportunity to answer a variety of questions.

The four candidates vying for three open seats on the Crawford County Board of Supervisors are Ty Rosburg (R), of Charter Oak; Kyle Schultz (R), incumbent, of Charter Oak; Eric Skoog (R), incumbent, of Denison; and Jeri Vogt (D), of Dow City.

The following is an edited and condensed account, presented in the order of the CDC questions.

Rosburg was born in Crawford County but moved to Fort Dodge when he was 2 years old when his father was transferred there.

After graduation from high school he went into the service and served more than nine and one-half years; he also served one year in the Iowa Guard. He has been a businessman in the county for 25 years.

Rosburg has two sons and six grandchildren and said he wouldn’t have made it this far without his wife.

He has been a member of the Charter Oak and Crawford County fire services, Iowa and National Pork boards and is a member of St. Rose of Lima Parish.

He said he is into volunteering and working for the greater good.

“I have a love for western Iowa and, in particular, Crawford County,” Rosburg said.

Schultz is a lifelong citizen of Crawford County. He and his wife and two children live in rural Charter Oak where they raise corn and soybeans and manage a small cow/calf herd.

He also operates a seed corn/soybean dealership and recently expanded into a show feed sales dealership.

Schultz served the country by volunteering for the Iowa National Guard.

His experiences as the past fire chief, member of the school board, president of the congregation and as a former secondary roads employee gave him an understanding of budgets and roads and bridges, which helped him make decisions at the county level during his first term as a supervisor.

He said his focus is to put taxpayers first and look toward the future.

“The county is going to be faced with the same issues they face now,” he said.

Skoog noted that he was not born here, but has lived here by choice for the last 39 years.

He was educated in Denver, Colorado, and spent a year in Kansas City before moving to Denison.

He was only planning to stay for three months but has been here ever since.

Skoog is the owner/operator of Cronk’s Café and was on the municipal utility board for 16 years, with 12 of those years as chairman. He was a volunteer fireman for 12 years, a member of the city council for four years and has been a member of the board of supervisors for the last eight years.

Little League baseball is one of his favorite things.

“Every Monday night through Little League baseball season you’ll find me up there,” he said.

He has also been very involved with Boy Scouts for the last 27 years, for which he does Eagle Scout boards of review.

He has faith in the future because of his work with the Boy Scouts, he said.

Vogt has been employed in the Crawford County Treasurer’s office for the past 44 years; for the last 14 she has been the county treasurer.

Working at the courthouse during that time has given her an understanding of what goes on in each office.

She has also had the opportunity to listen to the concerns of taxpayers.

Vogt said she has run the treasurer’s office on a tight budget.

If elected, she said that come January, her only job would be as a supervisor.

“My plan is to spend more time in the courthouse – not just the Tuesday morning board meeting,” Vogt said.

She said she would ask questions in order to make sound decisions and use a common-sense approach to find common ground.

She thanked people on both sides of the counter for being her teachers, mentors and friends for the past 44 years.

Housing development

On the question of housing development in the county, Schultz said the board of supervisors has always been very proactive in promoting new housing through the tax abatement process.

“It is always our goal to promote housing within the rural unincorporated areas of Crawford County,” he said.

Skoog also pointed to the ongoing tax abatement for new housing, which encourages people to build in the unincorporated parts of the county.

“There is not one thing we can do that is going to answer this,” Skoog said. “It’s 10 different things we do that will solve this one question.”

Vogt said as the collector of property tax she has a good understand of how adding housing adds to the economic base.

“New construction is good,” she said. “The more people we have adding to the tax base… I think the better it is.”

Rosburg said the county should work with developers to build houses in the towns or out in the county.

“We (the county) can’t afford to do everything,” he said. “We need to find other ways to finance new housing developments and repair what is already here.”

On the subject of tax cuts and rollbacks, Skoog said the state created a problem by threatening to take away money from the county after the county budget had already been settled.

“These are the types of things we have to stay vigilant on with the state in order to keep their feet to the fire,” Skoog said.

Vogt agreed with Skoog.

“People who told us we were getting money should be held accountable,” she said.

“It’s obvious budget restraints are going to be a big part of our future with all of the taxes from the federal down to the state level,” Rosburg said.

He said he would get right into his car and talk to Steve Holt and Jason Schultz and try to get into the governor’s office about funds the state had promised to the county.

Schultz said that since he has been on the board, the supervisors have positioned the county to weather the storm somewhat through accumulating fund balances.

“Where will we go?” he said. “It all depends on what the gentlemen and the ladies down in Des Moines and the federal government decide they want to do next session.”

Economic development

On the question of economic development, Vogt said she would have an open-door policy and would listen to what people have to say.

Her phone number has always been listed in the phone book, she said.

Rosburg said he would work closely with the CDC.

Economic development would be his strong suit because of his business experience.

Mid-range businesses where people can build careers are needed, he said.

“People that develop a career build new houses and they contribute to the community because they plan on being here a long time,” he said.

Schultz said small businesses are what made the county what it is today.

“We are short on big businesses, but small business will get the job done,” he said.

Schultz said he would encourage and support small businesses and county infrastructure development.

Skoog said he would look at more funding for economic development.

“It pays back what you put into it,” he said.

He would look at finding grants or economic development funds to help businesses grow here.

Closing comments

In closing, Rosburg said he is a no-nonsense, motivated, common-sense kind of guy.

“I’m about getting the job done and finding ways to do it efficiently and conservatively,” he said.

Schultz said he wants to see the county’s communication system upgrade finished in another term.

“I want to make Crawford County a better place than I found it,” he said.

Skoog said he wants to draw on other counties to find new and better ideas.

“We used to say that in the restaurant business: chefs never come up with new ideas, we just steal from each other,” he said. “I steal from other counties.”

Vogt said that because of her 44 years in the treasurer’s office, she could name almost everyone in the audience by their first name.

“I desire to continue to serve you,” she said. “I hope and pray I have served you well.”

Read about Iowa House District 12 candidates’ views in the Tuesday Denison Bulletin.

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