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Ottumwa Mayor and City Council Questionnaires

Ottumwa City Council and Mayoral Candidates were each mailed a copy of the questionnaire included below. The deadline for submissions is 5PM on Monday, September 25th.

Mayoral Candidates: (listed alphabetically)

  • Robert LaPoint
  • Tom Lazio
  • Russell Weeks (Submitted responses, however, the responses were submitted past the stated deadline)

City Council Candidates:  (listed alphabetically)

Ottumwa City Council/Mayor Candidate Questionnaire
Ottumwa Radio

Please email your responses to
Include your name, the office you are running for, your phone number or email.
We will post your responses in full and unedited (do your own spell check)

  1. Explain why you are running for public office.

  2. What will be your primary focus if elected?

  3. How long have you lived in Ottumwa?

  4. What is your professional/work history? Are you working now?

  5. Please provide a list of your volunteer activities and some information about those activities. (include time on city boards, commissions, councils, etc).

  6. What is your educational background?

  7. Who is your biggest political influence? Why?

  8. We often hear from individuals seeking public office of a need for better transparency and communication with the public. What specifically will you do if elected to improve transparency and communications?

  9. What are the three most pressing issues facing the City of Ottumwa? How would you address those issues?

  10. What skills, qualities or experience do you possess that separate you from your opponents?

  11. What can the city of Ottumwa do and what should it do to ease the property tax burden put on homeowners?

  12. What can the city do to help young adults and millennial become home owners?

  13. What can the City of Ottumwa do to improve the overall quality of our roads? Would you support a one time massive push to improve all roads, even if that meant borrowing a large amount of money?

  14. What can the City of Ottumwa do to improve quality of life activities for it’s residents?

  15. What can the City of Ottumwa do to help establish new attractions? (Example: Museums, zoos, casino, traveling attractions, concerts, festivals, events, etc)

  16. Do you support efforts to revitalize downtown Ottumwa including: White Box Program, Roof Program, Facade Improvement Program, Upstairs Apartments Program, downtown camera system, street-scaping plan, Canteen Alley Project, Etc.? Should these programs be expanded to other business districts?

  17. Ottumwa has long held a great financial rating, however budgets continue to decline state wide. Should Ottumwa consider eliminating or privatizing city services in order to make quality of life improvements for citizens? Explain including what services you would consider cutting or privatizing.

  18. Do you believe that tax credits, breaks and other benefits given to box stores wishing to locate in Ottumwa (Example: Hobby Lobby, Kohls) harms other businesses already located here? Should the city continue offering those tax breaks and benefits? Should the council decide to stop offering these types of tax breaks, what would you do to continue attempting to attract new businesses

  19. Which is more important for Ottumwa’s prosperity in the future: Retail or manufacturing (industry)? Explain.

  20. Wapello County has a higher unemployment rate than all bordering counties and is often considered one of the top 3 poorest in the state of Iowa. Why do you feel that is the case and what would you do to correct it?

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