Ames Chamber of Commerce

Story County Board of Supervisors Candidate Questionnaire: Latifah Faisal

Posted on 09/28/2020 at 09:49 AM by Guest Writer Guest Writer

The Ames Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Program educates and engages members on key federal, state, and local political issues and initiatives. In all advocacy efforts, the Ames Chamber of Commerce remains nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates or support political action committees. Maintaining strong relationships with all federal, state, and local elected officials is a key tenet of the Ames Chamber of Commerce, and a service we are proud to provide to our entire membership.

Read below to learn more about a candidate running for Story County Board of Supervisors

What do you believe are the two most pressing challenges/opportunities facing Story County and how would you work to solve them? Similarly, what is your vision for Story County and how would you implement it? Please be specific.

Affordable housing and rural transportation present ongoing challenges as well as unlimited opportunities. I will address action steps & goals resulting from the housing needs study. Story Co is lucky to have organizations working toward these same goals. The SCCHC and the SCHTF work very similarly to the Neighborhood Finance Corporation in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. My vision is for a regularly scheduled & predictable rural transport system that enables residents to look for affordable housing outside Ames and still access jobs, services and resources within Ames.

How would you support Story County’s reputation as a leading county in which to do business?

I will actively engage in economic development efforts, build relationships with city officials and staff, network with other county and state elected officials and work with county staff to promote our social media presence.

What are the most important transportation/infrastructure projects that should occur in Story County?

It is important to continue the Board of Supervisor’s annual review of the Story County Engineer’s five-year secondary road construction plan. It details the schedule for repair of bridges and paving of roads in areas that have been identified as likely areas of economic growth in addition to many other vital maintenance items. Without safe, well-maintained roadways not only is it more challenging to encourage new economic growth it is hard for many businesses to continue to operate. Roadways must be maintained and able to handle commercial vehicles, personal vehicles and farm equipment.

What workforce development strategies would you support or help to implement?

By working with Iowa Workforce Development and their IowaWorks team we can identify how Story County could incorporate their Future Ready Iowa and Registered Apprenticeship programs into our economic development strategic plan.  On a national level many industries are struggling to hire the skilled workforce they need.  Our goal should be to align our educational opportunities with industry demand.

What economic development strategies (financing or otherwise) would you prioritize to ensure Story County captures its fair share of future job growth and maintains its economic competitiveness?

As we know, the availability of housing options, well-funded schools, clean air and water, access to services and recreation are major factors in determining economic growth.  I will continue to focus on infrastructure development and quality of life amenities to ensure that Story County is an example of all the things that are possible when county and city governments, local business leaders and communities work together to achieve great things.

If elected, how would you manage collaborating with your colleagues on difficult countywide issues?

Good governance is built on the ability to listen, communicate and collaborate. We have to be willing to meet people where they are and sometimes that’s miles away from where you are. Elected officials have to be able to take steps to shrink the gap. I will always try to meet people where they are and see things from other’s perspectives. My work on the newly established arrest diversion program and our sequential intercept mapping workshop illustrate my collaborative nature.

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