Lin Chape knew there would be a time when she would run for City Council.
The current vice president for human resources and organizational development at Vermeer Corporation said if she is elected to the council she would see it as a way of paying back the community.
“Iowa and the City of Newton have just been welcoming to me,” said the California native. “This city means something to me in terms of personal caring for. I know that if I had an issue. I could go to the police department. I can go to the hospital and feel safe. I can go to any of those places. I’m home.”
In 2004, Chape began working at Maytag as its director of training and staffing. In 2006, Chape took a contract with Whirlpool. During her contract, she worked with the city to transition the community for Maytag’s closing.
“I did that because I thought the city deserved it,” Chape said. “I could have gone on and gone elsewhere. I chose not to do that.”
After their departure, Chape received several offers, but didn’t take them and instead elected to open her own business when she was offered a job at Vermeer.
Currently, the city council is exploring and implementing several projects to build momentum in Newton’s economy.
“All of those things I’ve always been an advocate of,” Chape said. “I guess the burning issue that I have is cleaning up the properties in the city that have been vacated or not cared for.”
At its last meeting, the council voted to purchase a report from the consulting company Buxton, which should give the town’s business leaders and economic drivers more insight into the retail market. The single dissenting vote was cast by at-large city council member Dennis Julius. Chape, who believes the Buxton report will deliver on its promises, is running for Julius’ seat.
“I’m very proud to be able to step in where he is stepping off,” she said.
Chape said she’s met and has had talks with Julius, but if elected, she said she’s excited to be part of a governing body that has had a positive impact on the future of Newton.
“I’m quite impressed with our current council,” she said. “I think our council is moving in the right direction. I also think there’s really strong collaboration between economic development group and the group under Frank Liebl.”
Chape said those properties hurt the image of Newton and those wanting to reside in town or open a business could be turned away by the conditions of those properties. She said she supports Newton’s housing initiative which was introduced to the council at their last meeting.
“I’m one of those people that wants to step up and join the team and continue the journey,” Chape said.
Chape and all other candidates for City Council, including Evelyn George and Steve Mullan, are running unopposed. Mayor Mike Hansen is also making a bid for his seat and is unopposed.
Staff writer Dave Hon may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 425, or at email@example.com.