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Government

  • Billings elected mayor by landslide

    RED OAK — By an overwhelming majority, Bill Billings was elected Red Oak’s new mayor Tuesday.

    Billings received 735 of 1,331 votes, or 55 percent, winning all three wards in a race that featured five candidates.

    Larry Brandstetter finished second with less than half of Billings’ total with 347 votes, followed by former 8-term mayor James Johnson with 154 votes.

    Bill Haufle finished fourth with 76 votes, followed by Jeff Van Scoy with 17.

  • Three become one: Red Oak consolidating polling places Tuesday

    RED OAK — Calling it a “guinea pig” election, Montgomery County Auditor Ted Schoonover has consolidated all three Red Oak polling places into one for Tuesday’s municipal election.

    The decision to have all Red Oak and Coburg voters cast their ballots at the Gold Fair building stemmed strictly from economic reasons.

    “This alleviates a certain number of poll workers which translates to a less expensive election which translates to savings to taxpayers,” Schoonover said.

  • Jobless rate lowest in nearly 3 years

    MONTGOMERY COUNTY — Local unemployment numbers are finally no worse than the state average after dropping to its lowest level in nearly three years.

    According to figures released by Iowa Workforce Development, Montgomery County’s jobless rate dropped from 6.4 percent in August to an even 6 percent in September.

    While local labor force grew from 4,980 to 5,060, the number of people with jobs also increased from 4,660 to 4,760, while the number receiving jobless benefits dropped from 320 to 300.

  • Candidates forum taking place Wednesday

    RED OAK — The Red Oak Express and KCSI are sponsoring a candidate’s forum Wednesday night.

    The event starts at 6 p.m. at the Wilson Performing Arts Center.
    Red Oak Express Editor and General Manager Gregory Orear along with KCSI owner/announcer Jerry Dietz will ask questions of Red Oak City Council and Mayor candidates. Each candidate will be asked the same questions and alloted the same amount of time to respond. Candidates will not be presented the questions before the forum.

  • Changes coming to county landfill

    RED OAK — Montgomery County mayors will vote in October whether to approve an Iowa Waste request to turn the local landfill into a transfer station only.

    Iowa Waste is required by state law to receive the Montgomery County Landfill Association’s approval to transfer waste to their Mills County site, instead of burying it at the site just north of Red Oak.
    Red Oak Mayor Ted Schoonover supports the proposal, calling it a win-win.

  • Five running for Red Oak mayor, eight for Council

    MONTGOMERY COUNTY — Three Montgomery County communities will have a contested election for mayor in November, including one in Red Oak with five candidates.

    Jeff Van Scoy joined Bill Billings, Larry Brandstetter, Bill Haufle and James Johnson in the race for Red Oak mayor. All but Van Scoy had publicly announced their respective candidacies in July and August for Ted Schoonover’s expiring term. When elected County Auditor to complete Sen. Joni Ernst’s term, Schoonover said he would not seek another term as Red Oak’s mayor.

  • DNR: Lake of 3 Fires park damaged from Thursday storms

    BEDFORD – Lake of Three Fires State Park, in Taylor County, was damaged Thursday evening from a storm that caused power outages across the region. 

    The storm brought golf ball sized hail that striped trees by the lake nearly bare.  Trees and limbs were damaged in the park to the extent that the roads to the picnic areas are impassible.

  • Lester announces candidacy for at-large City Council seat

    RED OAK — A race may be forming for Red Oak’s City Council, as a longtime resident announced Monday her intention to run for the at-large seat.

    Jeanice Lester submitted a press release to the Red Oak Express Monday morning announcing her candidacy.

    “Red Oak is a very special place to me and I feel it has a bright future,” she said. “I feel I can offer constructive thinking and input as a member of the Red Oak City Council.”

  • Council closes golf cart discussion

    RED OAK — An ordinance that came up one vote short of passing a few weeks ago surfaced again at last week’s Council meeting, only to be disregarded for at least a year.

    The ordinance would have established guidelines permitting residents to drive golf carts on city streets.

    Numerous safety requirements, including lights, a valid driver’s license and adequate insurance were required, as well as a city-issued permit.

  • Brandstetter running for Red Oak mayor

    RED OAK — A current City Council member announced last week he will be running for mayor in November.

    In a news release announcing his candidacy, Brandstetter stressed the importance of strengthening the local economy.