Political Forum Spotlight: District Seven Offers Two New Voices

Political Forum Spotlight: District Seven Offers Two New Voices
Donna Hoblyn-Bittner, left, and Sara Parliament answer questions at Monday night's political forum.

BROKEN BOW – Interestingly, the District 7 Supervisor’s race at Monday’s forum will come down on one side of the fence the other, almost literally: Donna Hoblyn-Bittner and Sara Parliament, neighbors in Mason City, are both vying for the seat.

Both candidates stressed transparency in communication between voters and the elected, keeping taxes reasonably low, and their desire to improve the quality of life not only for their own backyard but for the county they call home.

Parliament, a fourth-generation Custer County native, emphasized that a part of keeping county taxation low goes much deeper than merely denying funding for the county: it’s a matter of informing and educating constituents on the often confusing county budget.

“As far as funding goes, I think it’s important to let who you’re representing really understand where that money is coming from, and the different options that are there. I feel that some people don’t totally understand where some of the county’s money comes from.”

Hoblyn-Bittner, Mason City’s village clerk and treasurer, stressed that her experience in those roles has allowed her to see how crucial a vigorous, well-maintained government is to a county’s prosperity.

“Everybody’s biggest concern is keeping those tax dollars in line. We as county supervisors have to be good stewards of those tax dollars, make those dollars work to the very best of their ability and cut unnecessary costs when they can be cut, but also maintain all the county’s offices, employees, and especially keeping the roads up.”

Speaking of, both candidates bring a unique, unexpected perspective to that favorite political toothache through how they as private citizens use them.

“As I’m sitting here thinking,” Parliament said, “I have the opportunity in being a volunteer EMT to travel our district. Not only visiting with the people that we serve, but also on the roads. In that respect, I know what those roads are like. If we have to take an ambulance on them, it’s not fun if they’re not taken care of.”

Hoblyn-Bittner replied. “On that note, being on the roads, I’m a bus driver as well for Ansley Public Schools. I, too, travel those roads south of Berwyn, north of Ansley, and all around Mason City.”