Jahner is a conservator and holds a business degree from Upper Iowa University. If elected, she would be the first woman to serve as a Marion County supervisor.

Her outlook

Jahner says her business background would help her make tough decisions about county spending.

“The days of people just showing up and managing the $30 million budget and 150 employees is over,” she said. “That’s what separates me from the Democratic candidate. I do have the extensive fiscal and budgetary experience.”

Her top issues

Supporting development: Jahner said she’s learned a lot about property taxes by attending many county meetings this year. Government needs to work with developers and offer tax increment financing as an incentive to pay for the infrastructure needed for new housing, she said.

“We need to continue growth. We need the housing. That’s what I’m hearing from businesses,” she said. “With such low unemployment, we constantly to have need opportunities for growth.”

At the same time, she wants perspective on property tax revenue growth and a sense of when projects will come off TIF.

“I’m a budget person. I want to see what we’re looking at for five years or 10 years,” she said.

Capital improvements: A fund to repair or replace big-ticket items must be continued, Jahner said. The county needs to set aside money for potential rainy days, such as a breakdown of the aging courthouse elevator, she said.

“It’s very old, and if it goes out, it’s very expensive,” she said. “It’s never-ending. It’s just like owning a home. You’ve got to be able to budget.”

Efficiency and savings: Jahner sat in on the budget hearings of all county departments earlier this year and recognized a way to save money, she said. She wants to assign a county employee to take on the duties of a purchasing agent for all departments.

Having one person in charge of buying essential products such as envelopes and toilet paper could result in savings, she said.

Pat Finan is the editor of the Knoxville Journal-Express and Pella Chronicle. He can be reached at 641-295-0624 or via email at editor@journalexpress.net or editor@pellachronicle.com

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