Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Contact Us | All Access E-Edition | Home RSS

Voters will pick five City Council members Tuesday

A final review of the candidates on the ballot

November 4, 2007
Messenger News
Fort Dodge voters will pick five of the seven members of the City Council in Tuesday’s election.

One at-large seat and all four ward seats will be filled. At-large members of the council serve four-year terms. Those representing wards serve two-year terms.

Here is a review of the candidates who are on the ballot.


Jane Burleson (incumbent, seeking her seventh term)

Age: She declined to reveal her age

Profession: Paraprofessional in the Fort Dodge Community School District, retired from George A. Hormel Co.

Education: High school

Community involvement and memberships: Judicial board, MIDAS board, Frontier Days, Federation of Labor, Hormel’s, United Way, Girl Scouts, YMCA board, Campfire board, Coppin Chapel A. M. E Church, MLK, Ethnic Committee with school district.

Why are you running for City Council?

‘‘I’m committed to be a voice for the citizens of Fort Dodge. I enjoy being involved with my city, no matter what.’’

David M. Flattery

Age: 48

Profession: President of CSBank

Education: St. Edmond High School, bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University, Graduate School of Banking at the University of Colorado

Community involvement and memberships: Fort Dodge Betterment Foundation board, Development Corporation of Fort Dodge and Webster County, Harlan and Hazel Rogers Sports Complex Development Group, musician at Holy Trinity Parish, youth baseball and basketball coach, Priests Pension Board for the Diocese of Sioux City.

Why are you running for City Council?

‘‘I am running for City Council because I want my family and all people who live and work in Fort Dodge to have the greatest opportunities for a prosperous and fulfilling life.

‘‘I believe the lack of growth is the biggest challenge facing Fort Dodge. In order to grow, we need to make Fort Dodge a more appealing place to relocate to and in which to live. I believe in industrial growth, therefore creating new jobs, protecting the jobs we have, resulting in more tax revenues to the city treasury. Growth can only be accomplished through strong city leaders with a positive vision for the future.’’

1st WARD

Sharon Hickey

Age: 53

Profession: Teacher

Education: Associate’s degree from Iowa Central Community College, bachelor’s degree from Buena Vista University

Community involvement and memberships: Holy Trinity Parish, Hillcrest Neighborhood Area group

Previous public offices held: City Council member from 1992 to 2001; administrative assistant to the mayor from 2002 to 2005

Why are you running for City Council?

‘‘I am running for City Council because I believe Ward 1 deserves an effective, knowledgeable and independent voice at the City Council table as I was in the five previous terms.’’

Curt Olson (incumbent, seeking third term)

Age: 51

Profession: Maintenance worker at Georgia-Pacific

Education: GED

Community involvement and memberships: Board president, Humane Society of North Central Iowa; commandant, Marine Corps League Mid-Iowa Detachment; vice president, United Steel Workers Local 503; annual volunteer for Frontier Days and Fall Fest

Why are you running for City Council?

‘‘I believe the city is moving in the right direction and I have been part of that for the last four years. It is my desire to participate in many of the good things yet to come. This is my hometown and I believe in giving back to the city. My friends and neighbors support my re-election and for that I am grateful. On many occasions, I have said that I would represent the city in this capacity as long as they will have me.’’

2nd WARD

There are two names on the ballot for the 2nd Ward council seat, but only one candidate actively seeking the office.

Andy Fritz withdrew from the race in the summer because his college class schedule would interfere with the duties of a council member.

That leaves Councilman Don Wilson as the only candidate really in the race. He is seeking his third term.

‘‘The reason I’m running for City Council is that I would like to stick around to see Oleson Park brought back to being a park for all ages,’’ Wilson said. ‘‘I’m really committed to streets. I’ve always said we should start with the worst streets in town and work toward the better ones. I just believe in helping economic development. I see a real serious drug problem in our neighborhoods and I’m not scared to go after that.’’

3rd WARD

Cindy Litwiller (incumbent, seeking second term)

Age: 52

Profession: Marketing coordinator for the Development Corporation of Fort Dodge and Webster County

Education: Attended Iowa Central Community College and Buena Vista University

Community involvement and memberships: Member and board member, Fort Dodge Daybreak Rotary; advisory board member, Salvation Army; member and board member, Sonshine Singers; New Covenant Christian Church; pianist for contemporary service at Trinity United Methodist Church

Previous public offices held: Administrative assistant to the mayor, 2000-2001

Why are you running for City Council?

‘‘I am running because I believe in this community and in its potential. This community cannot afford to step back to old ways of doing things and old ways of thinking. I have never had a personal or hidden agenda. I truly believe in what can be accomplished when city government entities work together with citizens, businesses and organizations to improve our quality of life. It is encouraging to see individuals come to council meetings and make their concerns and support known who have never stepped foot inside the council chambers before. Several issues we dealt with this past year (storm water utility and rental inspections) were prime examples of council, citizens and staff working together to achieve common ground and consensus.’’

Will Patterson

Age: 72

Profession: Retired plumbing and heating business owner

Education: High school and five years of trade school

Community involvement and memberships: President of Fort Museum and Frontier Village board, served as chairman of landfill commission

Previous public offices held: City Council 1981-1985, 1996-1998, 1999-2001; Fort Dodge Community Board of Education 1991-1993, mayor 1993 and 2002-2005

Why are you running for City Council?

‘‘I have been involved in many of the good things that are now happening in Fort Dodge and I want to help make sure they are completed. I care for Fort Dodge.’’

4th WARD

Councilman Dan Payne is the only candidate on the ballot in the 4th Ward. He won a special election in 2003 to complete the unexpired term of former Councilman Jim Gill. He is now seeking his third full term on the council.

Payne was previously the city’s director of parks, recreation and forestry; and later administrative assistant to the mayor. Most recently, he was executive director of the Fort Dodge Convention and Visitors Bureau.

‘‘We worked very hard on putting together an Envision 2030 plan and I just want to keep working on it,’’ he said. ‘‘I was encouraged to stick with it. As far as issues I’d like to address, definitely public safety. We’ve had an outbreak of vandalism and petty crime. We definitely need to bolster public safety.’’



I am looking for: