Catching Up with Ankeny City Council Candidates: Meet Mark Holm
Each day this week, Ankeny Patch will introduce you to one of the five candidates running for three seats on the Ankeny City Council.
The Ankeny City Council election is less than a month away and five candidates have launched their campaigns.
Three incumbents and two newcomers are vying for three seats on the council. Incumbents include Tom Strait, Gary Welch and Craig Block. The challengers are Mark Holm and Jim McKenna.
The council election is Nov. 8.
Ankeny Patch recently asked each city council candidate to fill out and return a questionnaire, posing a series of questions ranging from basic information to their takes on specific issues within the city.
We will publish one questionnaire daily this week. Today, we introduce Mark Holm, an Ankeny resident seeking his first term on the Ankeny City Council.
Address: 4108 S.W. Second St.
Occupation: Compliance officer, Office of Right of Way, Iowa Department of Transportation.
Education: B.A. in political science, Iowa State University
Family: Kari and Sawyer Holm – wife and son; Lori Strom, sister (Ankeny); Chris Holm, brother (Johnston); Glen and Linda Holm, parents (Humeston).
How long has Ankeny been your home?: 10 years
How many voters contact you?: I have aggressively campaigned with an open-door policy. My campaign has been based on a foundation of public concerns. I have contacted and have been contacted by hundreds of Ankeny citizens.
Residents have complained at recent council meetings about the pace of storm sewer projects and that they weren't kept informed of plans. How can the city better inform residents of construction in their neighborhoods?
Prior to letting a construction project, the city should possess completed construction plans with timeframes laid out for the contractor to achieve. As part of the bidding process, the city should require the contractor to communicate with the residents of anticipated commencement of construction on their properties. I feel when council members are contacted by concerned residents they should address these concerns and not defer them to city staff.
Are you happy with the city's current tax rate? If not, what should it be set at and how would the additional money be spent or trimmed from the budget?
No. I believe we should incrementally focus on lowering the rate from $11.17 per every $1,000 of assessed valuation. Close examination of all components of the entire city budget should be examined by the council. True costs of services must be determined and genuine public input must be established in evaluating Ankeny’s mission, responsibilities and services.
If the city had a $100,000 surplus that had to be spent this year, where should it go?
If this money had to be spent, I would lobby that we spend it on repairing existing streets.
What experience do you have working on councils, boards or commissions?
I have served the Ankeny citizens as a commissioner on the Zoning Board of Adjustment since 2008. I currently serve as the vice-chair.
What do you feel is the biggest threat to the community?
Overwhelmingly, the public is telling me that out-of-control spending and over-taxation are the biggest threats to our community. Specifically, I am concerned that these two issues will stall the future growth of our community.
Besides the people, what is the community's greatest asset?
One of the community’s greatest assets is our school system. Families move to Ankeny for the world-class education offered in our community. I want to protect the community-oriented, small-town values atmosphere that the City of Ankeny projects.