Gary Key Announces Candidacy for Vacant Ankeny Council Seat
Key is one of two candidates who currently are running to become the city's next city council member.
A local small business owner has thrown his hat in the race to become Ankeny's next city council member.
Gary Key, an Ankeny resident since 2003, officially announced his candidacy to Ankeny Patc Monday to run for the council seat vacated by Craig Block last month. Key said controlling the city's debt is the biggest issue facing the council right now.
“Ankeny’s current debt load and tax rate is going to stifle our city’s economic growth unless we act quickly and responsibly,” Key said in the announcement sent to Ankeny Patch. "We need to plan for manageable, sustainable growth that our community can afford without creating any additional debt or putting undue burden on taxpayers."
The special city council election is a result of Craig Block's resignation from the council, which was effective May 21. Ankeny residents gathered more than 500 signatures in order for a special election to be held.
Key joins Bobbi Bentz in the race for city council.
Key is a native of the small town of Fort Scott, Kansas. After graduating from Fort Scott High School in 1985, he went on to Pittsburg State University where he earned a degree in manufacturing engineering with emphasis in plastics technology.
He was prompted to run for city council after hearing from numerous professional clients and colleagues who were concerned with city spending, so much so they were "considering relocation in light of rising taxes."
Along with a conservative approach to spending, Key said he hopes to bring a renewed dedication to honesty and transparency in city government.
“When I talk to the citizens of Ankeny, most are asking for someone who will simply listen to them and act upon the best interest of the public, and not the best interest of a handful of special interests,” Key said. "They are looking for someone to tell them the truth, be open to their questions, and not give them the runaround when they ask those questions."
Key and his wife, Pam, have two children. The family relocated to Ankeny in 2003. Key said the reason they moved to Ankeny was for its schools as well as its small-town feel and "growing opportunities."
Key began his career in the automotive plastics industry by traveling to meet with suppliers throughout Iowa. Soon after, he was chosen to lead his division.
Six years ago, he started his own business in Ankeny.
Key attends Prairie Ridge Church in Ankeny and also spent five years serving as president of the Briarwood South Homeowners' Association.
Candidates have until June 22 to file. Should three or more candidate file by then, a primary election will be held July 17.
The special election for this race will be held Aug. 14.
Key can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.