Letter To The Editor: An Airport Won’t Stem Brain Drain But Instead Could Increase It

Editors Note: The views and opinions expressed in this editorial are not necessarily the views or opinions of Oskaloosa News.

There is a lot of talk in rural Iowa, especially in election season, about how to stem our “brain drain” by enticing educated young people back to our state to keep our communities vibrant and carry them into the future. As someone in their 30s, who came to Iowa from another state for college and has made my life here ever since, I feel qualified to comment on that topic.

I am proud to be an “Iowan by adoption” and always talk up our quality of life, community values, and great education system to those I come across from other states and other countries in my job as a business consultant.

However, I am greatly concerned that here in the Pella-Oskaloosa area we are in danger of losing the integrity and down-to-earth values that are a key part of Iowa and what this means for the future of this area.

I first became aware of the proposed South Central Regional Airport over five years from a neighbor. Since then I have not seen any efforts from either the Pella or Oskaloosa City Councils (through their representatives on the SCRAA board) to find alternate solutions other than taking land from Century and Heritage Farms via eminent domain. I have not seen any efforts to respond to landowners’ and residents’ questions or concerns. I have not seen any efforts to be good financial stewards of our tax dollars (and yes, FAA money is our tax money as well), or even bother to do an actual cost-benefit assessment.

One of the few bright spots in this whole debacle have been the Mahaska County Supervisors – Mark Doland initially and now Mark Groenendyk and Steve Wanders – who show through their actions that they are truly for “government of the people, by the people, for the people” and not “by those with money, for special interests”. I grew up in Illinois so thus am unfortunately familiar with government corruption and high taxes, and neither of those are attractions to keeping or recruiting the best and the brightest.

That is why I urge you to vote for Mahaska County Supervisor candidates Steve Wanders and Steve Parker; they are unafraid to stand for everyday folks and the interests of the many, not the few, which is what Iowa is all about. Our future depends on it.


Kathryn Kaul-Goodman


Posted by on Nov 1 2018. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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