Monthly news and announcements for residents of Story City, Iowa

Story City Briefing

Welcome New Employees

We would like to welcome new employees Isaac Rahto and Michael Stofer. Many of you might know Isaac. For the past eight years he has been the general manager at the River Bend Golf Course and he will be working as one of our water & wastewater operators. Michael Stofer will fill the police officer position left open after Barry Muhlenburg’s departure. Michael grew up in West Des Moines, graduated from Northwestern College, and worked as a detention officer and deputy with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. 

Rosy Cheeks 5K Run/Walk

The 18th running of the Rosy Cheeks 5k run/walk took place on Saturday, February 4th with 137 participants. Eric Cogdill from Ankeny, for the fifth straight year, won the men’s race with a time of 16:53 and winning the women’s race was Stephanie Mortensen, who won it last year, from Windsor Heights with a time of 21:00. Nate Yeakel was Story City’s top male finisher with a time of 18:56 and Lauren Kilstofte was Story City’s top female finisher with a time of 24:17. A special thank you to our sponsors and those who volunteered.

Story City City Council Vacancy

The City of Story City will be taking applications for appointment to the Council seat vacated by Becky Watson until March 1, 2017.  The person appointed would be in line to serve in the position through the November 2017 election. The Council intends to make the appointment at their regular meeting on March 6th. Application forms are available at City Hall. Please contact Mark A. Jackson, City Administrator, at 733-2121 with any questions.

Proposed FY 2017-18 Budget

As the Mayor and City Council consider the proposed Fiscal Year 2017-18 Budget, the first question generally asked is, “Are my taxes going up?” The tax levy rate is proposed to increase five cents from $10.39 to $10.44. Using the Mayor and Council Members as an example, property taxes would increase by an estimated $27 dollars or 2.8 percent. 

The second question asked is, “What do my dollars pay for?” The city provides a wide range of services: police, fire, and first responders; street maintenance and snow removal; clean and safe water; parks and trails; places to meet and gather like Fairview Lodge and the community center; providing youth and adult recreational activities; programs and books to read at the library, and to supporting community organizations like the GCC, EDC, and Historical Society. Just to name a few.

The public hearing on the proposed Fiscal Year 2017-18 will be held in the City Hall Council Chambers on March 6th at 7:00 p.m. A copy of the budget can be viewed at City Hall or the Bertha Bartlett Public Library or contact City Administrator Mark Jackson at 733-2121 or with any questions you may have.

2016  Year in Review

Click on the following to read the City’s “2016 Year in Review.” This is a report to our community which provides highlights on city government including recent accomplishments and what’s coming up this year. The report also provides information on city finances and answers to “Frequently asked Questions.”

Click here for the report

A Political “Bromance”
is Just What We Might Need

February is the month we recognize, acknowledge, and celebrate the contribution of our nation’s Presidents. Last year was a Presidential election year and I wrote of our country’s search for another Abraham Lincoln. In previous years, I’ve wrote about such Presidents as John Adams and his son John Quincy, about Iowa’s only President Herbert Hoover, and the peanut farmer from rural Georgia Jimmy Carter. 

I was trying to think about what I wanted to write about this month, but given how highly polarizing the 2016 election was and the current toxic state of our political environment I thought to myself, “you might want to stay away from politics for a while.” That is until someone said to me, “you know February is the month of romance.” Now how did I not know that? Then it came to me when I thought of the relationship between former President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden that has evolved into what many have referred to as a “bromance.” Therefore, February is a month of Presidents and Romance or a “Political Romance.”

One could not be touched by the presentation of the Medal of Freedom with Distinction that President Obama honored his Vice-President, Joe Biden, with. It was apparent during the ceremony of the loving relationship that exists between the two. Joe Biden once said of Barak Obama, “I don’t like him, I love him.” Their relationship was not always so great, but they have been at each-others side during high and low times. When Joe Biden’s son Beau died of brain cancer at the age of 46 it was President Obama who was asked to give the eulogy and who offered his friend Joe any financial assistance his family might need.

What about the first “bromance” between two of our country’s “founding brothers.” The short, rotund, and intense brother from Massachusetts John Adams and the tall, lanky, calm brother from Virginia Thomas Jefferson. Both came from fathers who were farmers, both went to college, both were lawyers & farmers, both married at the age of 28, both loved to read & write, and both loved theIR country. Although different in personality and outlook, Adams and Jefferson met at the Second Continental Congress in 1775 in Philadelphia “the city of brotherly love,” where they began a friendship and collaborated in drafting the Declaration of Independence. Their friendship continued while both served diplomatic post – Adams in London and Jefferson in Paris – and when Jefferson’s wife died in 1782 he became a frequent guest in the Adams home. 

Both held a deep believe in democracy and freedom, but had strong and differing political opinions on how to get there. Unfortunately, the Presidential election of 1800 which pitted the incumbent John Adams against the Vice-President Thomas Jefferson was bitter with both sides engaging in vicious personal attacks that led to a falling out in their friendship. However, some years later is was another “founding brother,” Dr. Benjamin Rush a friend of both, who convinced them to renew their friendship and on January 1, 1812, John Adams wrote a letter to Jefferson. Their restored friendship continued until ironically both passed away within hours of each other on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.     

It wasn’t that long ago that political opposites developed a strong bond of friendship. President Ronald Reagan and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neal came from different political parties and they would have sharp exchanges, but to them it wasn’t personal it was just politics. After 6:00 o’clock they were friends. Once in a while President Reagan would call O’Neal, “Hello, Tip, is it after 6 o’clock yet?” They would get together, enjoy a drink, and being Irish tell stories. One of the first persons President Reagan wanted to see after the assassination attempt was Tip O’Neal who held Reagan’s hand as he laid in the hospital. They were able to put aside their political differences, find common ground, and work with one another because they saw the best in each other.

Our national and state elected officials could certainly take some lessons from officials here at the local level. I can say that there has only been one goal for our elected Mayors and City Council Members over the years here in Story City and that is, “what’s best for Story City!” They have been able to accomplish a great deal here in Story City because they trust one another, they don’t make it personal when they disagree, they get along with one another, they talk and listen to each other, and they find the common ground on issues. There have been times when they haven’t agreed, but they voted and moved on. Perhaps it’s because they love this community and know that to be successful you need to work together more so when you disagree. 

February 14th is Valentine’s Day, but it was also on this date in 1920 when Iowa State University graduate Carrie Chapman Catt founded the League of Women Voters and it was sixth months later that the 19th Amendment, where the right to vote shall not be denied on account of sex, was ratified.

Given the disruptive and volatile divide in our civil discourse these days perhaps we could use a little more romance. 

“Is it after 6:00 o’clock yet?”

Mark A. Jackson
City Administrator

City of Story City

504 Broad St.
Story City, IA 50248
(515) 733-2121
(515) 733-2460 Fax
Office Hours:
M-F 8am-4:30pm

Mike Jensen

Dave Sporleder
Matt Triggs 
Karl Ostrem
Connie Phillips

Mark A. Jackson

Bandwidth Series Coming Soon

  • Spring Programs
    Spring Soccer (4 y/o-6th Grade)
    Registration Form
    April 4th- May 11th
    Tuesday & Thursday 5:30-6:30
    Some travel to Roland & Ames
    Fees: $25 by March 6th, $35 March 6th-15th
    Shin Guards Required  
  • Pony League (Boys finishing 1st & 2nd Grade)
    Registration Form

    May 1st-June 30th
    Mon Night & Sat Morning Practice, Games starting end of May
    Fees: $45 by Feb 22nd, $55 Feb 23rd-March 6th
    Travel to surrounding communities required
    We play in the Central Iowa Rec League
    Grey baseball pants & protection cup required
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