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Enterprise Journal

Keith Pitzen: Independent for Mitchell County District 4

Oct 08, 2020 03:35PM ● By Savannah Howe
Keith Pitzen, of rural Stacyville, is running as an Independent to take the Mitchell County fourth district seat, overseeing Stacyville and rural surrounding areas. Pitzen is contested by Stan Walk, a current supervisor and also an Independent; Michael Mayer, a Republican; and Bruce Biederman, a Democrat. 

Pitzen feels a good fit for the supervisor role because of his lifelong Mitchell County roots.

“I’m a Mitchell County country boy,” laughed Pitzen, “I’ve been here my entire life.”

When the county voted on a five person supervisor board and remapped the county’s districts, Pitzen was interested in the opportunity to represent Stacyville to the other parts of the county. 

“We gotta have coefficiency with five people on there,” Pitzen said. “Supervisors have to work with all departments of the county, like the [Floyd] Mitchell Chickasaw Counties’ landfill, the sheriff’s department, the county engineer, who’s really busy, the county attorney, the board of health... I think I would work very well with them all.”

When asked why he decided to be a supervisor, Pitzen said the opportunity seemed interesting, and would like to offer a rural perspective on the board. 

The Stacyville native said he isn’t sure if five supervisors over three will help or hurt the county overall, but is looking forward to finding out. 

“I think it would work out really good if you can get five people in there who can work together.”

One current event in the county that Pitzen is passionate about are the questions surrounding TIF usage. 

“TIF money works as long as you put it in the right place,” said Pitzen. “I support the grant monies that people get to put up businesses. I think that helps. Because then you have a bigger tax base rather than raising everyone else’s taxes.”

Pitzen isn’t sure of his stance on the construction incentive program usage in the county, but said he plans to do research.

The candidate feels that TIF dollars are best used to maintain roads, bridges and infrastructure.

“[Maintaining roads] takes a lot of money. Everyone wants their roads improved, but you’ve got to think about how we are going to do that. I’m a farm guy, we are using a lot of wider equipment on these roads and putting a lot more weight on them, and they need a lot of maintenance. I’m sure it costs a lot of money for our county engineer to maintain the equipment he needs to maintain the roads. But that’s something we need to keep an eye on, these county roads.”

Pitzen said he questions the efficiency of the wind turbines, but understands that TIFing wind farms means tax revenue off the turbines stays in the county rather than going to the state. 

Overall, the candidate’s outlook on Mitchell County’s future is positive. He said he’s running as an Independent because he doesn’t think county business should be partisan. 

“We aren’t going to make everybody happy all of the time, but I look forward to working with everyone in the county.”