Larry Wilson—a distinguished face at the Spencer Grill—is running for Poweshiek County Supervisor. Few students may know that besides serving seemingly endless cups of coffee at the Grill, he is a City Councilman and has long been involved in the local school board and local politics.
A County Supervisor is an elected official responsible for administrative duties that address needs of unincorporated county areas, excluding towns such as Grinnell, Montezuma, or Brooklyn. The Supervisor oversees the rural areas of the county and would make any necessary changes or improvements regarding items such as road infrastructure, security, and budget management.
Wilson explained that his interest in the local school board and local politics comes from his father and grandfather, both of whom were actively involved in the small town of Solon, Iowa, a part of Johnson County. “I’ve always been active in local politics,” Wilson said.
“When I say politics, I mean not the politics you see at the state or federal level. This is for the most part non-partisan—as far as not Democrat or Republican—it’s just taking care of local business as it comes down, conforming the city to state law and to implement local ordinances as they are needed.”
Wilson listed public safety budget, rural road system and mental health as his top three priorities as County Supervisor.
“We’re going to have to learn real quick on how we can take the same budget from a smaller working group to a larger working group and still stay within the budget,” Wilson said. “I think those are the three primary things on the job of supervisor [and] my experience has helped me get ready to take those on.”
Though Wilson has been a Republican since the age of 18, he believes that he will be able to cooperate effectively with individuals who have different political views.
“I think I can build consensus as far as crossing over political lines, Democrat or Republican,” Wilson said. “On the local level, you’re there to do what’s right, bring people together and come to a consensus.”
Wilson has been on the local school board for 14 years and has been on the local City Council for 11 years. He believes that his extensive experience and knowledge in the community make him an ideal candidate for County Supervisor.
“I do have a record of over 24 years of public service,” Wilson said. “I’m able to discuss any item. In other words, there’s no issue that’s off the table.”
In addition to his dedication to the community, Wilson has also worked with a diverse group of students at the Spencer Grill. He has students from varying walks of life and job experiences and constantly has to adapt to the different needs of his employees—something that he will also be doing if he is elected County Supervisor.
“You have to be fair to all and still be responsible back ultimately to Food Services so that you’re getting your work done efficiently and within the budget, and getting it done properly,” Wilson said.
On Nov. 2 Wilson’s name will appear on the election ballot alongside incumbents Doug Shutts (R), Ellie Snook (D) and Lamoyne Gaard (D).