Candidate column: Royce W. Phillips

My name is Royce W. Phillips. I am a candidate for Iowa State House District 77. The district covers western and southern Johnson County and includes North Liberty, Tiffin, Oxford, Shueyville, Swisher, and Lone Tree, as well as the surrounding townships.

I served two terms as Mayor of Tiffin and was involved with most of the planning concerning the city’s current rapid growth. Many people said that I demonstrated great vision and were very complimentary. I fully expect Tiffin to grow to several thousand people in just the next few years. As Mayor I led the city to cut the city tax levy 3 times in my four years, a total of about 15 percent. We also started several major capital improvements.

I have been very active in the Iowa City area community for over 33 years now. Among those activities include two separate terms as president of the Coralville-North Corridor Rotary Club, president of the Iowa City Genealogical Society for several years now, youth sports (baseball and soccer), Chamber of Commerce, Cub Scout Pack sponsor, and pastor for 33 years. I have been married to my wife, Cindy, for over 39 years and have 4 grown children, nine grandchildren, and one great-grandchild (with a second one due any day.) As a Mayor I made decisions based on some basic philosophies. I believe a city (or state) prospers when its businesses prosper. I tried to do whatever I could to make that possible.

I believe that everyone deserves a fair chance. Whether that involves education, health care, or opportunity, no one should be left out or made second class.

In education, there is no better return on investment than educating our citizens, whether elementary, secondary, or post secondary. The biggest issue today has become the fact that only about 10 of our 332 school districts are increasing in students. Some of them are declining in students fairly rapidly. How is the fairest distribution of funds? I suspect we may need to revisit the funding formula. It is no secret that everything costs more today than just a few years ago, but funds are not without limits.

With about 700 of Iowa’s 950 cities and towns also losing population, this growth — no-growth issue becomes large there also. It will affect health care, infrastructure, mental health services, budgeting, and nearly everything else as well. We must realize that Iowa of 2016 is not the Iowa of 1916, or even 1986. This transcends any Democrat — Republican divide, or even a rural — urban divide.

I ask for your support as we tackle these major issues of our day, and the years to come.

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