OSKALOOSA — Area residents and the elected officials that represent them will come together again beginning Saturday when the traditional winter-time Eggs & Issues forum returns to Smokey Row.
Margaret Ratcliff, board president of the Oskaloosa Area Chamber & Development Group, recently released the lineup, dates and time for this
year’s six forums. The forum is held at 8:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Saturday of the month during January, February and March.
Ratcliff said the OACDG has been sponsoring and holding the Eggs & Issues forums for many years, and the morning talks with elected officials
usually draws a large crowd to Smokey Row.
“We want to give residents an opportunity to talk to their representatives face to face,” Ratcliff said. “It also gives those leaders an opportunity to provide an update on what’s going on in their area.”
The first edition of the Eggs & Issues is set for 8:30 a.m. Saturday, and the forum will feature three local officials: Oskaloosa Mayor David Krutzfeldt;
Mark Doland, the chairman of the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors; and Oskaloosa Community School District Superintendent Russ Reiter.
The forums feature the invited public and elected officials speaking on issues in their areas before the forum is opened up for questions and answers, Ratcliff said. Attendees to the forum will be treated to free coffee during the one-hour forum, provided as a courtesy by MidwestOne Bank. Other guests for future Eggs & Issues forums include, State Rep. Guy Vander Linden, State Sen. Ken Rozenboom and State Rep. Larry Sheets.
Although all three of those guests are Republicans, Ratcliff said the OACDG hopes to have some alternative views represented in future forums.
“Our goal is to have differing views discussed,” she said. On Feb. 25, the invited guest is Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, which is an exciting development for the organizers of the forum, Ratcliff said. “I’m really hoping [Northey] brings some farmers to town,” she said.
The forums are very popular with residents and officials who speak, and they are covered heavily by local media, including on the internet, radio, TV and in print, Ratcliff added.
“[Public officials] Really appreciate the opportunity to have a venue and to share information,” she said. “They can bring correct information
to residents. It’s a great opportunity to clear up any misinformation.”
Story provided by Oskaloosa Herald