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Enterprise Journal

Mitchell County representative hopefuls visit St. Ansgar

Sep 17, 2020 04:29PM ● By Savannah Howe

Tony Wynohrad, owner of Limestone Brewers in Osage, is running for the District 5 Board of Supervisors seat.

On Wednesday, September 16, three candidates looking to represent St. Ansgar held a meet-and-greet session at Clausen City Park.

Tony Wynohrad, an Independent Party contender for the District 5 Board of Supervisors (BOS) seat who is running against Mark Hendrickson and Gary Fossey, said at the meet-and-greet that he is running to represent a new demographic of residents. 

Wynohrad, who has told Enterprise Journal in previous interviews that his research into county issues such as the Urban Renewal Districts and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) usage has been and continues to be extensive, stated at the event that TIF may have been “utilized to death” in Mitchell County. 

Of the $33 million that the county is reportedly in debt related to TIF, Wynohrad said that just seven percent of that figure has come from housing projects used with TIF money—and that the rest is a concern. 

Wynohrad, who owns Limestone Brewers in Osage, said that he has been working for several weeks to get an official record of TIF usage from county officials. 

The business owner said that his personal agenda in running for the supervisor seat is to “uncover the hidden gem that is Mitchell County.”

“When it’s hidden, our Main Streets don’t thrive.”

Deb Scharper is a Democrat running to take the District 26 IA State Senate seat from Republican incumbent Waylon Brown. Scharper told attendants of the meet-and-greet that she is “tired of being ignored by our current lawmakers.”

Deb Scharper is running against Waylon Brown for the Iowa District 26 Senate seat.

Scharper delivered an anecdote of marching to the Capitol with an Alzheimers awareness group, with nearly 100 other participants. She stated that no representatives came out to speak to the group at the Statehouse, but when Scharper went inside and stood on the loft, she reportedly saw her local lawmakers sitting inside.

“I promise I will listen if somebody comes to talk to me,” Scharper said. 

Scharper, a longtime resident of Osage and a CT technologist at the Mason City Radiology Clinic, feels that the Iowa private Medicaid system is broken. In a previous interview with Enterprise Journal, Scharper said she intends to improve access to affordable healthcare for Iowans. 

Jane Podgorniak is a resident of Northwood contending to take over the District 51 House seat from Republican incumbent Jane Bloomingdale. Podgorniak publishes the Nora Springs Rockford Register and served as the chair of the Worth County Democrats.

Jane Podgorniak, Northwood native, publishes the Nora Springs Rockford Register and is running against Iowa House incumbent Jane Bloomingdale.

Podgorniak also expressed concern about Iowa’s private Medicaid system, as well as livable wages for the working population. 

“I think people deserve to have unions,” Podgorniak said. She criticized the restrictions on collective bargaining for teachers in Iowa. “I think we should recognize unions here. People should be paid what they are worth.”

Podgorniak told the event attendants that she wants to advocate for sustainable agriculture, and is concerned about the pollution of local rivers and streams. 

“It will take four seats to flip the House,” Podgorniak said, “and I hoped to be one of them.”

A local resident asks Wynohrad questions at the September 16 meet-and-greet.