Opinions

For the past few years, serving in the Legislature, I have done my best to work for common sense solutions.I try to avoid partisan politics and support legislation that makes Iowa (and particularly North Central Iowa) a better place to live, work and raise a family.I am proud of the fact that...
Dear New Hampton superintendent in 2037;I’m writing this letter in February 2017, because with all my bad habits, there’s a chance that even though I’ll only be 71 when you open this envelope, I’ll be “looking up at the grass.”I have no idea if you’re planning on a referendum to place what is now...
As a country, we make a habit of looking forward, not backward.But I’m going to ask you to turn your attention back a few weeks, to Barack Obama’s January 10 farewell address to the American people.I’ve been reading presidential farewell speeches for many years. Most of them give good advice. This...
August 5th, 2002 we moved into the First Baptist Church’s parsonage in the middle of a deluge the likes of which we hadn’t seen in months. We had just moved from draught stricken Kansas City, Kan., to begin a new chapter in our lives, as I had accepted the call to become FBC’s pastor. While my wife...
The 2017 Legislative session opened last month at the Capitol, and I was fortunate to be in attendance. In the first week, usually no real legislation is passed but instead we hear from state leaders like the governor and chief justice of the Supreme Court.  Every year I am sure to pay close...
There were multiple times as I sat matside at Saturday’s Class 2A sectional wrestling tournament when I had to remind myself “it’s just a game.”While the non-sports fans among you may think me foolish, my heart figuratively ached for the wrestlers who saw their dreams of making it to the state...
We didn’t exactly kick off 2017 at a leisurely pace; after all, it’s been quite a newsy month — one that included some nasty weather, the appearance of Temple Grandin, plenty of sports action and, of course, the lead up to the New Hampton Community Schools’ bond referendum.And before we get to our...
Our generation needs to step up and vote yesMyself and many of the IDC board members would like to thank our superintendent and School Board members for responding to our petition to bring a school building plan forward.Several of the IDC members served on the building committee. These members have...
It’s a no-brainer to construct a new school building when it’s both reasonable and necessary. Reasonable means the property tax increase is modest.It’s tougher to nail down what is necessary. The first thing that comes to mind is when enrollment is skyrocketing and there simply isn’t enough...
My joke the last month or so has gone something like this: I can’t wait for Feb. 8.Why?Because the referendum will be over. One way or another on that morning, we will know if New Hampton is going to build a new middle school or go back to the proverbial drawing board.We have two almost full pages...

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