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Meet the candidates 2022: Carol Hibbs | News, Sports, Jobs

hibbs

What is your personal and professional background, and why have you decided to run for Marshall County Supervisor?

Hibbs: I was born and raised in southeast Marshall County, growing up as part of a farm family consisting of seven children. I am number six. I graduated from SEMCO High School, which is now part of the East Marshall School District. I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in communications and an emphasis in science and technical writing. As a new college graduate, I worked as a reporter for the Times-Republican. I married Rusty Hibbs, and we farmed in the Albion and Bangor areas of northwest Marshall County. Rusty later became the manager of Crop Production Services (formerly Minerva Valley Fertilizer) at Bangor. We have a son and a daughter who are both married and live in Marshall County, along with a 16-month-old granddaughter.

In 2015, we moved to Marshalltown from Conrad. Rusty passed away in 2018 after battling cancer. For the past 26+ years I have worked at the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA in various roles. I’ve served as the CEO of the organization since 2007. In addition to a long career at the Y, my background includes serving on several local boards over the years that have supported efforts throughout Marshall County. I will retire from the Y at the end of 2022.

After spending many years in a career that revolved around serving others in a variety of ways, I am ready to move forward in a new direction. After giving the matter a lot of consideration, I decided to run for Marshall County supervisor and commit to working with others to bring positive change to our county.

In your view, what should the county’s spending priorities be, and how, if at all, would you change them if elected?

hibbs: Each level of local government has a responsibility to use the limited resources available in the most prudent way possible. Residents rely on county leaders to work together to maintain the infrastructure (bridges, roads, buildings, etc.) needed in their daily lives. Maintaining our infrastructure will be a priority. Good stewardship also means bringing people together to listen to their needs and plan for the future. We’ve seen county taxes increase each of the past three years, but have missed opportunities to utilize financial tools available to local governments to set aside funds for infrastructure. I intend to work together with representatives from all of the communities in Marshall County, as well as agricultural leaders, to chart a fiscally responsible plan for the future. That plan will invest in infrastructure and economic growth as a means to increase our financial resources, as well as support one of our most valuable assets β€” our employees.

The prolonged closure of the courthouse after the tornado has been an ongoing concern for residents of Marshall County. Do you think the project is back on the right track, and what, if anything, would you have done differently through the process?

Hibbs: I think the change in general contractor has helped move things in the right direction. Everyone is hopeful that the courthouse can reopen by the end of the year. I appreciate all of the work county employees have done to try and manage the project in addition to doing their regular jobs. Mistakes and delays in a building project can quickly snowball.

I think it would have been wise to hire a construction manager with experience in large building projects to represent the county’s interests in the process. The Y benefited from hiring a construction manager with extensive building experience when the Horne-Henry Center was built. The project was completed on time with minimal changes to the overall cost. The money saved by having the necessary expertise dedicated solely to the project was substantial.

I also think it would have been beneficial to have moved forward with the necessary code upgrades in a more timely manner instead of waiting to see if insurance would pay for them. They were required. The delay in addressing them added cost to the project.

Marshall County has received over $7.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocations. Do you believe these funds have been set aside for worthy projects, and are there any changes you would advocate for if elected?

Hibbs: I respect the approach that Marshall County took to allocate ARPA funds. The committee that helped prioritize the use of those funds consisted of elected officials and department heads. The focus on projects for one-time spending was appropriate. Improving county assets and infrastructure needs are a good use of these funds. I would also consider how the county could invest some of these funds in projects that would enhance the area and support economic growth.

Is there a project not currently on the board’s radar that you would like to tackle if elected in November?

Hibbs: I would like to see the county work more closely with other entities and organizations to incentivize economic growth and enhance the quality of life for those who live and work in Marshall County. I will prioritize projects that will reduce the number of people who are currently working in Marshall county but living elsewhere. My focus will be on working with others to increase the number of people living and working in our county.

How would you work with other county and city agencies if elected?

Hibbs: Public resources are limited. It just doesn’t make sense in today’s world to have one governmental entity work independently of others. If elected, I intend to create an environment that fosters open communication and collaboration. Many positive things are happening in Marshalltown and around the county. Diverse opinions should be respected as people work together to solve problems. Positive progress is possible when we work together.

Why are you the best choice to represent the citizens of Marshall County?

Hibbs: It is time to rebuild a positive culture within our county government in order to bring people together and focus on economic growth opportunities. I have a history of successfully working with others in a variety of roles. In my career and family life, I have always been grateful for the opportunity to work side-by-side with people to make things better for the next generation.

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