Letter to the Editor: School Board Member Rule (R) Endorsing Tom Rielly
Editors Note: The views and opinions expressed in this editorial are not necessarily the views or opinions of Osky News.
As we head to the polls today to cast our vote for Mahaska County’s next Supervisor, I believe it’s important for our electorate to be cognizant of the professional environment that we’re developing for the future of our best and brightest students. Oskaloosa High School and William Penn University continue to produce quality individuals who can contribute to the area and I believe Mahaska County should be a place where our graduates can have the confidence to stick around and build their professional career.
I was born and raised in Idaho Falls, Idaho and came to Oskaloosa in 2005 to attend William Penn. Immediately, my family and I were pleasantly surprised by the way that small towns in Iowa invested in their communities, business environments, and futures for their youth. Towns the size of Oskaloosa in other parts of the country just don’t do that and they begin to become irrelevant as businesses and families move to the cities to find better prosperity. I’ve seen this happen as small towns around where I grew up slowly diminished in population, pride, and influence.
This town is a very special place with so many unique opportunities for our young people, but we must provide a better climate to attract our best and brightest to come back and stay around. Projects like the proposed airport and the US 63 connector should be initiatives that we continue to work in conjunction with citizens and other counties to make happen. We must stay ahead of the curve so businesses will find Mahaska County attractive, which will undoubtedly create jobs in our community and provide an environment that will convince our high school and collegiate students to keep calling this area home.
I’m a life-long Republican and conservative, always have and always will be. There are issues that I have fundamental disagreements on with Tom, but those matters are not issues in this county election. Tom has repeatedly stated that our biggest challenge is “retaining our best and brightest” and having them come back and stay in Mahaska County. To do this we must create jobs. That’s the type of leadership we need in a County Supervisor and I trust that Tom Rielly will make that a priority.
Mark Doland and Tom Rielly are both good men. They’re both men of principle and care about this community. I admire them for stepping up and presenting their ideas on how to make Mahaska County an even better place than it already is.
With that being said, I will be supporting Tom Rielly today because I believe Mahaska County has an amazing opportunity to continue to develop into one of the best and most successful rural areas in the Midwest. That’s a good thing for our citizens and especially our up-and-coming high school and college students.