When the hotel-motel tax failed this during this week’s election, Washington Mayor Sandra Johnson didn’t have much to say. She did express that the funds wouldn’t go solely to tourism. Johnson said the money could’ve been used for park improvements, land acquisition and cultural events. Johnson says they’ll need to find an alternate source of revenue, if they want such “quality of life items available to the people of Washington.”
A state government reform advocate says office holders need to restore voters confidence. John Narcisse is with An Iowa Worth Fighting For. He says voters feel betrayed which is why voter turnout has been trending downward. He says candidates need to provide solid plans to fix governmental problems and made good on such plans and promises.
Voter turnout was down in Washington during this week’s city elections, versus the previous two cycles. A little less than 17 percent of registered voters cast ballots. That’s compared with nearly 30 percent in 2007 and close to 43 percent in 2005. One possible reason 2005 saw such a high turnout was a county wide vote on approving bonds to build the new jail.
The Washington County branch of the American Cancer Society has a new community communications coordinator. Kiersten Peck recently has worked with the ACS for many years both as a volunteer and as an intern, but she says there’s something special about Washington County. Peck says she has been involved in Washington County since September 1 and she has already seen a great deal of interest from residents to get involved. She says she will be working with volunteers in coordinating special fundraising events like Relay for Life and Daffodil Days.
A couple named as plaintiffs in the Iowa Supreme Court Case that resulted in the allowance of same sex marriage say it was a big step but a lot more needs to happen. Jen and Dawn BarbouRoske point to the fact that their marriage isn’t recognized in other states, and that they don’t enjoy the federal tax benefits of marriage. The Iowa City couple spoke at a forum in Washington this week.
The Muscatine YMCA will host the 5th annual Young Athletes Play Activity Day next week for children too young to participate in the Special Olympics. Director Kathy Irving says while the minimum age to participate in the game is eight, these games are designed for children ages 2-7. She says 60 athletes will participate in the events which include basketball, bowling, soccer, and a 25 meter dash. Irving says the games will be held next Wednesday from 9:30-11:30 at the Muscatine Y.
Representatives of the Iowa Self Employment program are the featured speakers at this Month’s learn at lunch. Kochell Weber Ricklefs will discuss the principles behind vocational rehabilitation, how members of the community can get involved and how entrepreneurship might not be right for everyone. The program is November 16 at the Washington County Extension Building. Cal 563-260-2068 for more information and to reserve lunch.
The Washington Public Library will host a free media presentation and lecture next Saturday when they host Dr. Lisa Ossian. Ossian will discuss with area residents the contributions of Iowans on the home front during World War II. Ossian says Iowa’s industry helped the nation by producing millions of bullets, bombs, and even pants for fighting men. She says more can be learned during her talk at the library next Saturday afternoon at 2.