Guest Columnist

Hemingway: Restore focus on county's basic priorities

My name is Phil Hemingway and I am the Republican candidate for Johnson County Supervisor on the Dec. 18 special election ballot.

I was born and raised on my family’s Century Farm in rural Johnson County between Morse and Oasis. I am the fourth generation of Hemingways to have lived and worked on that farm. I made a living farming with my father for many years after I graduated from high school.

A unique opportunity was offered to me to manage Roy Carver’s cattle ranch in Belize, Central America which I did for five years; this was the largest cattle ranch at the time in the country. This is where I met my wife Anita who was working at the district’s veterinary clinic.

Additionally, I spent time in Africa and in the former Soviet Union in agricultural related work. In 1997, I opened my own auto and truck repair business in Johnson County and it still is in operation today. I have worked with my hands my entire life, either in agriculture or in the skilled trades. My household consists of my wife, Anita, my daughter, Monica, my mother-in-law, Marciana Carlos and my brother-in-law, Daniel Carlos.

In 2015, I was elected to the Iowa City School Board. My accomplishments include getting the ICCSD to reduce chemical spraying in our school buildings and on our grounds. My board representation on the steering committee helped lead to the addition of agriculture and FFA curriculum being added to our school district for the first time ever. I have consistently advocated for a more inclusive and fiscally responsible district. Being the chairman of the finance committee, I’ve been tasked with going through every check and receipt issued by the district every two weeks. Since my election to the board, I have held weekly gatherings at my shop to discuss issues facing the community.

As to my ICCSD board service, The Gazette editorial board stated in November: “Time has shown [Hemingway] to be an exceptionally valuable member of that body who consistently forces discussions that lead to increased academic opportunities for local students and healthier alternatives for all who use school grounds and facilities. There is simply no other member of the school board with his tenacity or attention to detail especially on fiscal matters.”

I plan to bring the same level of fiscal oversight and common-sense leadership along with rural representation to the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. Transparency and diversity of ideas are vital to successful decision making by any group.

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Let’s get back to our priorities: building roads, bridges, and strengthening our commitment to agriculture, clean water and clear air. We must be stewards of our land for ourselves and for future generations, and advocate for the ever-expanding need for mental health services in Johnson County. We must commit to maintaining our present infrastructure before embarking on new projects. The county land use plan would benefit from a supervisor who has actually farmed in Johnson County and has a blue-collar background. I believe I am that person.

If you’re looking for a supervisor who will force discussions that lead to better decision-making and has tenacity and attention to detail especially on fiscal matters, I believe I am that person.

I ask for your consideration and your vote on or before December 18, 2018.

• Phil Hemingway is a Republican candidate for Johnson County supervisor.

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