Ames Chamber of Commerce

Story County Board of Supervisors Candidate Questionnaire: Steve O'Rourke

Posted on 09/28/2020 at 09:48 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.

Housing and Jobs

Solution:  I would work to introduce the Neighborhood Finance Corporation program which presently is being used in Polk County successfully for 30 years.

Through my past experiences I have helped people implement this product in Polk County and one of our elected officials, who lived in Polk County has used this product. This product will attract families and help existing families to secure their financial future through homeownership.  

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

First, I would attract new businesses to open their doors here by helping the county to purchase a domain name and set up a website for business relocations to our county.  

Second, I would actively recruit companies that through no fault of their own were damaged this past year in such areas as Minneapolis and Seattle.  I recently met a young couple that have moved to the Ames community and they told me they were happy to have gotten out of Oregon and got the opportunity to move to the Midwest to work and raise their family. 

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

This would not just be Story County's problem, but we have a huge potential flooding problem due to highway 30 which acts as a dam on the south border of Ames.  With all the development in the last few years on Duff and adjacent areas we need to open up Highway 30 to decrease our chances of a major flood. 

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

I would work to implement programs in our local high school systems such as Building and Trades and MOC (Multiple Occupational Careers).   

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?

The Neighborhood Finance Corporation program that I would work to introduce could be used by local businesses to act as a recruiting tool to hire their employees.  If we have a program to fix homes which would encourage families to live here where they work that is a win-win program.  I think real estate ownership is a key to a family’s financial success. 

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

It will not benefit our county if we can't act as a TEAM.  There is no I in team.  I have worked with different volunteer organizations over the years.  Many times, people did not agree, but by listening to folks there always is an answer.  My goal is to always leave whatever the problem or person better off than I found them.  As supervisors we need to always keep in mind, we are here to serve the WHOLE and not the FEW.  We need to listen and then ACT!

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