Councilman is challenging incumbent in EG mayoral run

EAGLE GROVE — An Eagle Grove City councilman has declared his candidacy for mayor.

Denny Vandewater is challenging incumbent Sandy McGrath, who is in her fourth year in office.

“Our city has a lot at stake with many challenges ahead in the next two years,” Vandewater said. “The $240 million pork processing plant outside of town is creating 1,800 new jobs to our immediate area and we are planning a $28 million wastewater treatment plant.”

Prestage Foods of Iowa is to open its plant, five miles south of Eagle Grove, in November 2018. An estimated 1,050 people will be directly employed by the company at that time.

“I am confident of my ability to lead our city for the next critical two years that will shape our city far into the future,” he added.

Vandewater serves as Ward 3 councilman. He has lived in Eagle Grove for the past 36 years.

Vandewater identified housing, integrating ethnic diversity, and leadership as his top priorities.

“I am talking about how we succeed in integrating the increasing ethnic diversity in our community,” he said. “We have already had some of that come through ag and pork facilities, but Fort Dodge and everyone else is having a difficult time finding good qualified workers, even the businesses. So this is going to have to bring in a large number of people to fill these new jobs.”

He said Eagle Grove needs a change in leadership.

“Two city administrators have either been terminated or resigned this year and we are just beginning the search for another,” he said. “This has contributed to an unsettling work environment for city hall employees who are presently experiencing low morale.”

George McGuire, the most recent city administrator, submitted his letter of resignation in August. He was hired in February. He replaced Mike Boyd, who was the city administrator for six years. Boyd signed a separation agreement in October 2016.

McGrath, who was born and raised in Eagle Grove, said she wants to hold her position to help continue the city’s positive progress.

She said whoever is hired to fill the role of city administrator will have a great opportunity.

“George, for his own reasons, did put his resignation in,” she said. “But he was also there to help through the process of hiring. That position will be a very difficult position because we are in the red zone of a lot of progressive things happening in Eagle Grove. It’s a great opportunity for a city administrator to be part of the process.”

“My door is always open,” she added. “One of my biggest beliefs is city employees is one of your major resources. It’s one of your major assets. It takes the right kind of people and city employees, whether it’s city hall, street workers, water, waste reclamation — the people in those positions are total assets.”

Vandewater is an owner of Sadler Coating Systems and Sadler Construction, Inc. He graduated from Iowa State University in Ames with a bachelor’s degree in fisheries and wildlife biology and a minor in chemistry.

He said he is concerned about a conflict of interest as McGrath is also employed by the county as director of environmental health and planning and zoning.

“I think it’s a conflict of interest working for Wright County on the Wright County Prestage project, while at the same time involved with the new city wastewater plant that will be serving both Prestage and Eagle Grove,” he said.

McGrath said she sees her ability to take on both positions as a strength.

“What I do for planning and zoning and environmental health for the county as a nurse, is separate, and my planning and zoning and environmental is the unincorporated portion,” she said. “I believe it is actually a strength because I have the knowledge of planning and zoning and the knowledge of environmental health that can lead through any issues that occur or to work with others if they occur.”

McGrath is a registered nurse. She graduated from Iowa Central Community College.

“I think I do very well multitasking,” McGrath added. “It doesn’t ever become a conflict because they are two separate roles.”

Another change Vandewater said he would implement is returning the oversight of the Eagle Grove Police Department back to the city administrator.

“The mayor has not handed back our Police Department to the city administrator, who oversees all city employees per city ordinance,” Vandewater said.

McGrath said as mayor, she is responsible to oversee the Police Department.

“Anytime you are mayor, you appoint the police chief,” she said. “Anytime there is a citizen or a concern, I believe it is the duty of the mayor to ensure the process is being handled correctly. I think the citizens expect you to ensure that the process is being followed and concerns are being addressed.”

Both Vandewater and McGrath identified housing as a major issue.

“Housing is No. 1,” Vandewater said. “Almost half of Eagle Grove’s homes were built over 70 years ago and explains why some are in disrepair.”

He added that almost half of the homes are rental properties.

“We are working hard to improve existing homes’ appearance, while promoting new construction of single homes, multi-family housing and rentals through successful programs through grants and tax incentives.”

“I realize that this housing is probably going to be pulled from Webster City, Fort Dodge, and surrounding cities,” he added. “This will be a regional need for housing, but Eagle Grove being four miles from the plant probably can be expected to see a real need for housing here.”

One of McGrath’s proudest accomplishments during her time in office has been the advancement in addressing dilapidated homes, she said.

“We have addressed at least 20 properties, either being rehabbed, fixed up, or needed to be taken down,” she said.

McGrath identified the completion of a rental inspection program, continuing housing development, and the upgrade to the wastewater plant as some of her top priorities.

Both identified the hiring of a planning and zoning employee as a positive move.

Chris van Jaarseveld, an Eagle Grove native who graduated from Iowa State University, was hired to oversee code and ordinance enforcement, nuisance issues, rental inspections, and construction permits.

Vandewater believes his leadership will help Eagle Grove through its transition.

“There is so much positive going on that we want to make it the best transition as we can,” he said. “Whatever transpires, we are going to have to deal with it for years and years to come. That’s why it’s so critical.”

Vandewater said his slogan is “new leadership for changing times.”

McGrath, who also owns Rails Bar & Grill, said she’s ready for another term.

“There has been a lot of progress in the last four years and there’s more to come,” she said. “We are in the red zone in Eagle Grove and I am ready to take it over the line.”

The city elections are Nov. 7.

Here’s of list of area candidates

Fort Dodge


Matt Bemrich

P.T. Larson

Council Member At Large (Candidates for this Race are unknown until after Oct. 10 Primary Election)

Andy Fritz

Jeffrey Halter

Richard Higgins

Eugene Melvin Newsome

Lydia Schuur

Council Member Ward 1

Terry Moehnke

Council Member Ward 2

Dean Hill

Tracy Runkel

Council Member Ward 3

David M. Flattery

Council Member Ward 4

Kim Alstott

Brian Michael McClain





Troy V. Hassebrock

City Council,

vote for two

Rodney E. Harris

City Council to fill a vacancy, vote for one

Vicki Jean Sturtevant



Gregory Campbell

City Council,

vote for two

Marty Jensen



Mickey Walker

City Council,

vote for three

Kenneth Outzen

Leo J. Reiter

Rick Young


City Council,

vote for three

Ruth Brozek

Scott Nieman

Greg Philbrook



Gregg Wright

City Council,

vote for three

Susan McSparin

Steven Moore

Scott Stephens



Harold L. Hove

Kelly J. Wirtz

City Council,

vote for two

Terry Painton

Crystal Renze



Steven Andersen

Larry Runyan

City Council,

vote for three

Heather Conklin

Chase Haman

Mitchell Peterson

City Council to fill a vacancy, vote for one

Justin Richardson

Webster City

City Council,

vote for three

John Hawkins

Matt McKinney

Logan Welch

Fuller Hall Board of Trustees, vote for two

Mary C. Fortune

Ann E. Kness

Kendall Young Library and Trust Estate, vote for one

Crystal Gordon



Jessica Hiemstra

David L. Seiser

City Council, vote for more than three

Dennis Frayne

Richard E. Kohl

Shannon Swedeen



Bode Mayor

Royden Miller Council Member At Large (vote for five)

Mark Dale

Robert Bud Douglas

Derek Dugan

Delta Dawn Guns

Garry Kraft

Rob McKenna

D.L. Peterson

Christopher Robinson

Roger B. Rongved, Sr.

Jess Tepner



No papers filed

Council Member at large (vote for three)

No papers filed

Dakota City


Sean Phillips

Eric Paul Brown Council Member at large (vote for two)

Tim Myers

Jim Van Horn

Gilmore City


David R. Miller

Dennis L. Miller

Council Member at large (vote for two)

Lavonne Hoover

Lowell Johnson

J.D. Smith



Dennis C. Lippolt

Council Member at large (vote for two)

Katherine J. Petersen

Tammie Tuttle



Daniel E. Scholl

Council Member at large (vote for two)

Kirk Whittlesey

Mike Worthington

Park Board Commissioner (vote for two)

Kim Jensen

Ross Sleiter



Elden P. Landolt

Council Member at large (vote for three)

Paul Brown

Robert R. Foth

William T. Smith



No papers filed

Council Member at large (vote for five)

No papers filed



No papers filed

Council Member at large (vote for three)

No papers filed



Rick Larson

Council Member at large (vote for three)

Bruce A. Borchers

Fred Hefty

William Jeffries

Melody Larson

David Nerem

Hal Skiye

Michael Walker

Council Member At Large — Vacancy (Vote for one)



Roxanna L. Gregory

Council Member at large (vote for two)

Jerry Dahl

Ted Malo



Marc Ropte

Council Member at large (vote for three)

Maxine Hoefer

Mike Toillion

E. Wayne White

Council Member vacancy (vote for one)

Jacquie Glaspie

Adrianne Irving




Donald Wolf

City Council, vote for no more than two

Nate Greenfield

Logan Nehman



Duane Stearns

Amanda Tripp

City Council, vote for no more than three

Tina Jehle

Heather Mutchler

Joseph Smith

Samantha Richison


City Council, vote for no more than two

Elsa Jean Swanson

City Council, to fill vacancy, vote for no more than one

no candidate filings



Robert Rosenboom

City Council, vote for no more than three

Marvin G. Alig

John M. Ball

Melinda Habben

City Council, to fill a vacancy, vote for no more than one

Matt Condon


MayorKirk Hubbell

City Council, vote for no more than two

Dirk Lindgren

Jacob Point



Richard Gruber

City Council, vote for no more than three

John DeWall

Jada Hallberg

Thomas Michael Ries

Hospital Trustee, vote for no more than two

Jody L. Lyon

Gregg White



Julie Agle Lancaster

City Council, vote for no more than three

Dan Allen

Tom Andersen

Rick Jones

James Sandvig

Robert Taylor

Matt Welter

Chresten Westergaard

Public Measure A: “Shall the Rolfe City Council change the composition of the Library Board of Trustees from five (5) bona fide citizens and residents of the City? Members are to be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Council three (3) residents members, one (1) non-resident member, one (1) at large member. All residents are to be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Council. All nonresident members are to be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Pocahontas County Board of Supervisors effective 1/1/2018.”



Chris Archer

City Council, vote for no more than three

Richard Farrell

Nancy Kelly

Richard A. Kollbaum

Raymond A. Wolf



City Council, vote for no more than three

William R. Cougill

Melissa Freese

Brian Pickhinke


MayorJeff Ellerbrock

City Council, vote for no more than five

Nick Albright

Sara Casey

Larry Coon

Paul Toms

Jeff Townsend

Sac City

City Council, vote for no more than two

Brian D. Martin

Tom McGinty

Bruce Perry

Ray Van Ahn




Amanda Gascho

Christopher J. Wendell

Council Member, Elect Two

Roger Curtis

Cynthia R. Glover

Maria Patrick

Pam Smith

Janelle A. Wagner



James P. Byson Sr.

Council Member Elect Three

Kent Bower

Lynn Ewoldt

Leslie Joslin

Nicholas Krull



Randy Hanson

Council Member

Elect Three

Kim Jondle

Wanda Martens



Barb Passow

Council Member

Elect Five

Gary Fitzgerald

Dan Hunt

Tyler Schadegg

Dennis Stuhrenberg

Doug Yetmar


Council Member Elect Two

Kevin P. Diehl

Tina Hammer

Council Member to Fill Vacancy

Elect One

Kendra Breitsprecher



Dennis Banks

Council Member Elect Two

Sally A. Paine

Council Member to Fill Vacancy

Elect One

No Candidate Filed


Council Member

Elect Three

Joyce Hamell

Corinee Jackson

Jeff Petersen

Terry Willardson

Harcourt Mayor

Grant Gibbons

Council Member

Elect Two

Kelly Blair

Rodney Meyer



No Candidate Filed

Council Member

Elect Three

Kirk Kelley

Monte W. Long

Emily Murray

Joshua Pace

Melissa Rude



Brad Hoffman

Council Member

Elect Three

Christopher S. Fiala

Matthew Smith

Ken Thompson



Tony Barnett

Jason Hamburger

Council Member

Elect Three

Sherry Ackerman

Jimmy Beekman

Brant Farrand

Marvin Fortune



Lynda Adson

Council Member

Elect Three

Jordon Frakes

Heath R. Miller

Corey Rutherford




Frank Beminio

Council Member

(vote for three)

Katie Schlichting

Nathan Dippel

Jane A Boller

Jon Swenson

Jenna German

Hospital trustee

(vote for two)

Terri Havens

Troy Watne

Park trustee

(vote for one)

Sandra K. Steenblock



Duane D. Asbe

Council Member

(vote for three)

Teresa Lancaster

Daniel Patrick


Dave Maxheimer

Jim Williams



Larry Klatt

Council member

(vote for three)

Mike Oliver

Loren Lienemann

Richard Mark


Eagle Grove


Sandra McGrath

Dennis Vandewater

Council member at large

(vote for one)

Joshua Schild

Council member Ward 4

(vote for one)

Wally Lorenzen

Sonya Middleton

Council member Ward 2

(vote for one)

Matt Jergens



Dutch Hiveley

Bruce Rholl

Andrew Jay Spellmeyer

Council member at large

(vote for three)

Sandy Malaise

Bart Green

Nelson Eddy Mathiesen

Scott Myers

Ginevra Letts



Tom Stevenson

Council member

(vote for three)

Marilyn Jill Sorensen

Anthony Meinke

J Steve Whyte



Robert Miller

Council member

(vote for five)

Steven Chambers

Cathy Juelsgaard

Anthony Miller

Shallon Weis

Joshua A. Weis



Ronnie Bailey

Council member

(vote for three)

Dale Hollman

Kerri J Eivins

Virgil Park

Calhoun and Kossuth counties information was not available.