Emmetsburg race has two candidates for mayor who want your vote.
On November 5th, citizens of Palo Alto County will begin to flock to their respective voting stations (see list of areas here: https://iowaindependentnews.com/2019/10/24/local-elections-gearing-up-to-begin-on-november-5th/) to vote for their local leaders. Out of the different cities within Palo Alto County, Emmetsburg has a mayoral race with two candidates. Current Mayor, Myrna Heddinger, chose not to run for re-election this year leaving Kelly Higgins Bay and Patrick Degen as the contenders.
Kelly is a small business owner of Five Island Spa. She is an Emmetsburg native who says that she is “passionate about community”. She wants to be able to develop the community to a standard that isn’t like it is now where people ask why move to a small town.
“So, just working on that development. From the economic standpoint, recreation, quality of life, and jobs. Covering everything. I am passionate in all of it and I want to be involved”, Bay said. “Job-wise, I don’t think we need to go out and to find a business that will come here and provide jobs. What we need to do is to create relationships with companies that are willing to have flexible work environments”.
Kelly says that she likes to go out and really promote Emmetsburg in everything she does and everywhere she goes. Bay is hoping to continue to keep the industrial progress that has been developed in the community. Bay wants to use that success from the industrial side of work and help small businesses to be able to be developed.
“I would really like to see a small business incubator come in. I think when we get people in a position to start their dreams here, they are going to end up just like me; really committed to the community”.
Bay says that she thinks that the communication between the city and the community needs to improve.
“I think we are not doing a great job of communicating what is going on, why it is happening, and what the public can expect from those decisions”.
Mayoral candidate Patrick Degen was unable to be reached for comment, but he has been a member of the Emmetsburg community for several years. He served in the United States Air Force and returned to Emmetsburg where he became a Law Enforcement Officer for 6 ½ years.
Degen is currently working as a Compliance Coordinator at AGP and is in his 23rd year with the Ag company. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and had served on the City Council for over a decade.
Some members of the community have expressed that he was a great Police Officer.
“He was an awesome Sergeant for me. I hope the best for him”, said Emmetsburg Police Officer Darrin Adams.
Voting begins at 7am on November 5th and polls close at 8pm. Contact the Palo Alto County Auditor’s Office at 712-852-2924 for any questions about voting protocol.