Name: Denny Carpenter
City: Rural Reasnor, Iowa
Office sought: Jasper County Board of Supervisors
Occupation: Incumbent supervisor
Education: High School, American Institute of Business and DMACC
Elected offices held: Jasper County Board of Supervisors
1. Reintroduce yourself to Jasper County voters and explain why you want to be on the board of supervisors.
I'm Denny Carpenter, and I'm seeking re-election to the Jasper County Board of Supervisors. I live in a rural area near Reasnor.
I served six years in the Iowa National Guard. I was employed 36.5 years in the county engineers Office. I helped the auditor's office for 40 years with voting machines each election, and I've been on the Board of Supervisors for 11 years and 9 months. I have experience in managing county government. I'm a fiscal conservative and will continue to be fiscally responsible to the taxpayers. I go into the office each day that I can. Being on the board of supervisor for me is about serving and helping people and not politics. It is about looking for ways to reduce the cost of operating county government to the taxpayer. There have been many things done to reduce the cost of county government, such as refinancing the county's debt three times, saving $1,272,116 in interest.
2. What do you believe are the two most important issues Jasper County is dealing with presently? Do you feel current elected leadership is making a conscious effort to address these matters?
I feel that there are four important issues that the board is dealing with, roads, bridges, the
budget and the cost of health care. There was 70,000 tons of crushed rock put on the roads on the upper ten (Jasper County) townships, and the Secondary Road Department continues to haul rock on the lower ten townships. The bridge crew could get seven bridges replaced if the weather cooperates. The pipe crew has replaced two bridges, and there are three bridges under construction by private contractors. There are 13 miles of asphalt paving that are going to be resurfaced yet this fall. The elected officials and department heads do a good job of preparing their budgets, putting in only what is necessary. The board of supervisors is looking at another possibility of lowering the increase of healthcare costs without changing the coverage. Yes, I feel the current board of supervisors is addressing the issues.
3. Do you feel the communication between the supervisors and taxpayers is adequate regarding the future of the Jasper County Annex Building and the currently unresponsive courthouse clock tower? Why or why not?
Everything that has been a concern in the annex building has been discussed in the board
meetings. The chairman of the board of supervisors read a public statement in a board meeting concerning the clock, that is where we are at the current time.
4. How proactive should the board of supervisors be on the possible disappearance of state property tax backfill payments from the Iowa Legislature?
I've been told that the State of Iowa has no plan in place at the present time as to what they are going to continue doing with the backfilling of the loss of commercial property tax. I feel Jasper County is in good shape financially to handle whatever the State of Iowa decides to do. Doug Bishop, county treasurer, told us in a board meeting he renegotiated with the banks and got a higher interest rate on the county's money he invests with them, and there would be an additional $100,000 in new money this year. Next year, two loans will be retired.
5. Do you believe the supervisors should be more transparent regarding board mistakes and errors, even if it may reflect badly on the county? Do the taxpayers have a right to know?
I feel the board of supervisors has been transparent. If there have been mistakes or errors the public has the right to know it.
6. What is a priority you hope to bring more attention to during your term as supervisor?
(My priorities are) to continue being financially responsible to the taxpayers and serving the people and not politics and to continue looking for ways to reduce the cost of county government without reducing services or programs. One of my other priorities is not to support another salary increase for the board of supervisors. We are well paid and do not need another salary increase. The Board of Supervisors accepted one salary increase in eight years. It's about serving the people. I would like for the board of supervisors to consider looking into solar power for all the buildings, except the Courthouse. We've been told there is not enough room on the roof, but (it) would work on are other buildings.
7. How do you decide whether a project is worth taxpayer investment? What factors play into your final decision?
I look at a project on how will the people benefit from the project, and will it reduce the cost of operating county government. Would it make county government more efficient? Could changes be made without reducing services or programs?
8. How would you handle discourse with fellow supervisors who may have conflicting ideas?
Let them work out the discourse between the two of them.