The seats of three members of the Tama Soil & Water Conservation District Board will expire this year. Successors will be chosen at the November general election. Newly elected Commissioners will serve a four-year term.
"What's a Commissioner?" you might ask. Conservation district board members are local residents who understand and care about local natural resources. Working with private partners and government agencies, they are local citizens elected to help develop strategies for local soil and water conservation issues. They might be the teacher at the community school, the lady at the grocery store, a local farmer or even your next door neighbor.
The terms of Jody Kasal, Dean McKenna and Mike Snider will expire this year and will be filled at the November election. If you are qualified to vote in a general election, and live in any Tama County township EXCEPT Spring Creek or Otter Creek townships, you are eligible to be a candidate for election as Commissioner for the Tama Soil & Water Conservation District. There can be no more than one Commissioner from any township, and the townships listed above have a Commissioner currently serving.
Candidates need to get a nominating petition from the County Auditor. Petitions need to be signed by at least 25 eligible voters and must be filed back with the Auditor NO LATER THAN 5:00 P.M. ON AUGUST 29, 2012. This is a non-partisan office.
What are the responsibilities of a Soil & Water Conservation District Commissioner? As a District Commissioner you will help direct soil and water conservation programs in the county, and have the opportunity to influence state and national conservation programs. Soil & Water Conservation Districts administer state funded cost share programs through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Division of Soil Conservation. These programs include the Iowa Financial Incentive Program, Resource Enhancement and Protection Program and other locally based activities. Commissioners are responsible for carrying out state laws and programs within the District boundary. District Commissioners work closely with other state and federal agencies like the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Farm Service Agency and Iowa Extension Service. They also work with many community organizations.
The ways in which board members can contribute are as varied as the people who serve. Your involvement will include conservation cost sharing programs, water quality protection projects, sediment control laws, conservation plans and helping to carry out federal conservation programs. Part of the Commissioner's role is to educate people about soil and water conservation. Commissioners help develop tours and field days, educational meetings and materials, contests and awards, displays or special projects.
If you are interested in becoming a District Commissioner, or perhaps serving a one-year appointment as an Assistant Commissioner, please call the Tama SWCD office at 641-484-2702 for more details.