Legislator pens farewell letterPublished 7:00am Sunday, January 20, 2013
This will be the last legislative newsletter I may ever write, as Jan. 13 was my last day serving as state Senate District 6, so I want to say first and foremost that it has been a privilege and honor to have represented northern Iowa for 16 years in the Iowa Legislature.crossed
Over the course of those 16 years, tens of thousands of miles driven, thousands of meetings and community events, and all the hours spent in the State Capitol building, I can truly attest that northern Iowans are for the most part understanding, friendly and knowledgeable about Iowa government. I will miss the intellectual discourse with you on myriad issues and can say with certainty that helping with constituent problems, although not always solvable, were some of the most rewarding times of serving as your state legislator.
I would also be remiss not to mention some of the northern Iowa accomplishments that I was personally intricately involved in making happen, and I hope that you will agree that they were and are examples of how government is supposed to respond to the people served. The Clear Lake North Shore Drive project and other local street improvement projects statewide benefited from language that I drafted that required the state to pay their fair share of street assessments. The Mitchell Dam produces electricity because of my efforts following the 1993 flood damage. The recent dredging of Clear Lake started with the Dr. Downing study, for which I was instrumental in procuring the money.
Projects like Music Man Square and the Park Inn project were successful because of seed money from economic development and the Vision Iowa program, of which I was a chief legislative author and advocate. The North Iowa Welcome Center is where it is because Sen. Berl Priebe and I in a bipartisan effort lobbied for the location. Iowa’s Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program agreement with USDA was included in the Initiative on Improving Our Watershed Attributes (I on IOWA) legislation, which I personally drafted and floor managed when chair of the Natural Resources and Environment Committee.
Parental notification before minors receive abortions is Iowa law because in a true compromise of two Democrats, two Republicans, two pro-life, and two pro-choice legislators, shepherded that compromise all the way to the Governor’s Office. Forest City’s new maintenance facility came to be because I caught a mistake in the administrative rules that would have effectively disqualified the application. Iowa has future flood mitigation legislation because I was able to find the workable compromise language that could be supported by both small rural communities and larger urban centers. And finally, in my swan song year, working in concert with Sen. Ragan as a cosponsor, Kadyn’s Law was passed to prevent future school bus accident family tragedies.
It would be impossible to name the hundreds if not thousands of people who encouraged me, gave sage advice, and supported me in my numerous campaigns for election. I cannot and will not speculate nor announce at this time whether I will ever seek public office again. I can only close by saying that I hope my work and dedication to you during my sixteen year tenure will be looked upon in the future as having created a better northern Iowa. God bless.
former state senator