VOTER GUIDE 2012: Linda Laylin for Black Hawk County Supervisor
We'll be running profiles of all the candidates you'll have a chance to vote for this election season. Today, our Q and A with Black Hawk County Supervisor candidate Linda Laylin.
There are six names on the ballot for Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors. Voters can chose three. After reading about Democrat Linda Laylin, learn more about the race and view profiles of the other candidates.
Name: Linda L. Laylin
Political party: Democrat
Running for: Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors
Family: Father, Louis lives in Waterloo
One brother, Ron lives in Oakland CA
One brother, Rod and family lives in Waterloo
Daughter, Julie and family live in Cedar Falls
Occupation: Executive Director of Cedar Valley Growth Fund, a new economic development initiative to assist small businesses in the Cedar Valley.
1. Why did you decide to run for office?
I chose to run for County Supervisor to ensure that our communities remain great places to live, work, and raise families. The community has given so much to me, I want to put my experience working with local businesses and community leaders to work on growing Black Hawk County for future generations.
My work in community and economic development has primarily involved helping Black Hawk County businesses with employment and facility expansions. As a result of working with partners in the community, the region, and the state, I’ve developed strong working relationships with leaders in business, government, education, and economic development.
While creating jobs and growing the economy are very important to me, the Supervisors work in other areas that I feel are also very important to a community. I would like to use my experience, my knowledge of the county and my established relationships to work in other areas such as safety, health, education and recreation.
2. What issues do you want to address if elected?
1) Work to provide high-quality essential county services to residents always being mindful of quality of life and fiscal responsibility.
2) Collaborate with other counties and cities to increase efficiencies, share best practices, and examine areas where programs and/or services could be improved.
3) Encourage inclusion and involvement of residents.
4) Develop new partnerships and further relationships with others who are working for the betterment of Black Hawk County .
3. Why should voters choose you over your opponents in this race?
I would say my economic development experience is the distinction. I have a proven record in assessing the needs of businesses and identifying resources to meet those needs. I also have worked in budget development and accountability and in the application and administration of grant and loan programs. In my work and as a board member, I have been focused on results, accountability, and efficiencies.
I think the Board of Supervisors should be reflective of Black Hawk County residents. I think it’s important to have individuals with different life experiences, different work experiences, different perspectives, and even representative of different parts of the county. I believe when you have diversity on a board, it enhances the value of the decisions made.
I believe strongly in collaboration and feel so much more can be accomplished by working together. I also feel communication is critical, and residents should be comfortable in approaching government officials with issues or concerns because officials can’t represent you if they don’t know what you want. I’m a firm believer in transparency of government.
4. What is your background?
My primary responsibility in economic development was assisting existing businesses with employment and/or facility expansions. In recent years, my focus has been on workforce development and the need for more education and training.
I have also served on numerous community boards including:
- Hawkeye Community Foundation Board
- Regional Workforce Investment Board
- Waterloo Downtown Rotary Board
- Discovered Resources Job Fair
- Cedar Valley Labor-Management Council
5. What is your favorite thing about living in the Cedar Valley?
We are fortunate to have an agricultural heritage, resilient manufacturers and businesses, a strong foundation of healthcare facilities, multiple educational institutions, and wonderful parks, golf courses and recreation areas all here in Black Hawk County.
We’re a county of hard-working people with individuals, non-profits, government and businesses working to make Black Hawk County a better place. With all that said, it would definitely be the people of Black Hawk County that make the Cedar Valley a diverse, unique, and special place to live, work and raise a family.
6. How long have you lived in the Cedar Valley and what brought you to live here?
I am a lifetime resident of Black Hawk County. My parents moved to Waterloo when my father started working at John Deere in 1947, and he retired after working there for 35 years. I am the only daughter and the oldest of three children. I have lived half my life in Waterloo and half in Cedar Falls. I attended Hawkeye Community College and went on to graduate from the University of Northern Iowa.
I raised my daughter in the Cedar Valley, and after furthering her education, she accepted a position as healthcare administrator in West Burlington, Iowa. After living there for two years, she and her husband and two sons were able to move back to the Cedar Valley. We are a small, close family, and I am very fortunate to have them live nearby and be able to spend time with them. I have lived in Cedar Falls almost 30 years.
I talk with people all the time who wish their children and grandchildren lived here, which is also why having more job opportunities in Black Hawk County is so important.