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Fort Madison Mayoral Candidates Talk Challenges During Forum

The candidates for Mayor in Fort Madison took part in an hour-long forum moderated by Tri States Public Radio

The three candidates actively running to be Fort Madison's next mayor have different ideas about the biggest challenges facing the community. Joseph Helmick, Rodney Hoskins, and Matt Mohrfeld recently participated in a forum at City Hall moderated by Tri States Public Radio's Jason Parrott.

Joseph Helmick said during the forum the biggest challenge facing Fort Madison is crime. He said that as mayor he would advocate for additional support for the police department.

“I want to work with police to slow down some vandalism,” said Helmick. “Our drug problem that we have on the streets. I would like to see our speed limits enforced. I would like to see a cop stick their nose in the car. That’s more chances of an OWI, a drug bust.”

Helmick said he’s also worried about the city becoming stagnant, so as mayor he would work to attract new businesses to provide more opportunities.

Rodney Hoskins said he’s been attending city council meetings regularly and as a result, he sees two significant challenges facing the city. One is the budget and the other is a lack of communication from the city to residents.

“Our community can be a voice,” said Hoskins. “They can more or less, the mayor could collaborate with the council… they could sit with the community or just sit there and listen to them for a change.”

Hoskins said people need to know the city is working for them.

Matt Mohrfeld, who currently serves as 3rd Ward Alderman, does not see the budget as a challenge facing the city. He said the budget will be approved each year, no matter what.

Mohrfeld said he sees two challenges. One is to provide essential city services.

“The other one, which I think is paramount, to our biggest challenge is to be visionaries for the future,” said Mohrfeld. “We need to be relevant to not only today, but to what our town needs to look like in 10 years.”

Mohrfeld said having a vision is the only way to keep young people in the community.

You can hear the questions posed to the candidates and their answers below.

A fourth candidate on the November 5 ballot, Jason Eaves, announced several weeks ago he is no longer running for the position.

Current Mayor Brad Randolph is not seeking re-election.

Defining Role of Mayor
Preparation to be Mayor
Biggest Challenge Facing Fort Madison
Communicating with Citizens
Economic Development Plans
Setting City Council Agenda
Golf Carts on City Streets
Street Improvement Plans
City Beautification
Under-utilized Strengths
Future Depot Funding
Topic you wanted to discuss but was not asked
Closing Statements

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.