Editor’s Note: During Tuesday’s forum, we heard from declared candidates for Mayor Dean Haack, Bud Maynard and Rich Hainstock, as well as City Council candidates Brian Parr, Ron Hessenius and Gary Garwood. Candidate Dixie Meyer was absent due to being out of town for work. We also did not invite the two men who announced write-in candidacies, Dakota Rundlett and Nate Edwards, because one of them was unavailable and we are striving to be fair to all. Also: If you watch the hour-long video of the full forum on Youtube, you will hear a question about a citizen vote on the Iowa Braille School campus issue. City officials have been told that such a vote is not allowed under law.¬†

Vinton is facing some big, and potentially very expensive challenges in the very near future:

  • an estimated $12 million upgrade to the sewer system to meet new environmental regulations;
  • the possible $1 million per year maintenance of the Iowa Braille School campus (2/3 of which would be offset by the annual AmeriCorps lease as long as the federal program remains based there);
  • Countless streets and water and sewer lines that are decades or even 100 years old, and will eventually be in need of replacement or costly repairs;
  • moving the Vinton fire station and possibly other public safety facilities, away from the flood zone.

The three candidates for Mayor, Rich Hainstock, Bud Maynard and Dean Haack; and the three City Council candidates who attended the forum, Gary Garwood, Brian Parr and Ron Hessenius, addressed these and other issues and questions during an hour-long forum Tuesday in the Tilford Elementary auditorium.

Watch the entire forum below. Thanks to Eric Upmeyer and Vinton-Shellsburg schools for offering the use of the auditorium and recording the forum for us.