Ames resident and former School Board Member Anita Rollins is running for the Ames City Council in Ward 3 unopposed.
Rollins served on the Ames Community School District School Board from 2006 to 2009. Previously, she worked at Iowa State as a faculty member with the Science Bound program for nearly 20 years before her retirement in 2018. She has lived in Ames for the past 31 years.
Rollins said she would like to work on affordable housing initiatives if elected to the council. She would like to promote housing first initiatives that allow all residents to live in safe and stable environments in addition to ensuring affordable housing options are available for those who wish to buy a home in Ames.
In addition to housing, Rollins said she would focus on transportation issues such as accessibility and increased CyRide hours, particularly for shift workers throughout the community.
Rollins also discussed how she would like to improve communication and accessibility between the city government and community members. She gave the example of expanding internet communication by establishing city web pages in numerous languages to allow all constituents access to the information.
"I would like to look at better ways of communicating so that we know that we are reaching all of the various populations that make up Ames," said Rollins.
Rollins also mentioned the city's Mental Health Workshops and wants to build on the event's success in the future by expanding outreach for it and ensuring that more people are aware of the resources available to them in the community.
Rollins believes the biggest challenges facing Ames today are related to mental health and a post-COVID world. These are similar to the challenges most of the country is facing at this time but are still essential for the Ames community to successfully take on, Rollins said.
"I think that continuing to think about what it means to have a community that supports mental health initiatives and that really encourages healthy mental health… is important for the council," said Rollins.
The City and School Board Elections will be held Nov. 2, 2021. Voters can click here to learn more information about polling locations and voter registration.
Early absentee voting is available at the following locations:
Oct. 22: Cardinal Room, Memorial Union and Iowa State University Campus 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Oct. 30: Ames Public Library 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Nov. 1: Story County Auditor's office during business hours