City Council Stock 11

Fourth Ward Representative Chris Nelson at an Ames City Council meeting on June 18.

The Ames City Council must balance innovation and pragmatism to enable Ames to grow in its appeal to young professionals. Chris Nelson, an ISU alum who hails from a multi-generation Ames family, values Ames’ quality of life and the economic and cultural role ISU contributes to it.

He has vision to carry it forward and proven ability to seek out all sides of an issue to develop a balanced perspective for sustainable growth.

I am excited by his priorities that align with our children’s priorities: climate change and low-impact living.

As a former Iowa State University faculty in agronomy and climate science now employed in the low carbon industry, I appreciate his support for Ames’ community solar farm and the pilot project to displace petroleum diesel in its heavy duty fleet.

An easy button for the city to become carbon neutral does not exist as government incentives have declined for renewable energy. For instance, displacement of fossil natural gas with renewable natural gas in electricity generation in the Ames or ISU power plant is possible but at a cost of 5–25 times fossil natural gas.

This means to address Ames’ carbon footprint a mixture of technologies will be needed.

I am excited by his priority on investment in downtown and Campustown. Younger generations demand mixed-use communities that provide entertainment, social events, entrepreneurship, housing and amenities — all accessible by walking, bicycling, long boarding or hover boarding. Chris listens to many perspectives from ISU — alumni, the greek system, engineering societies, Campustown Action Association and ISU Research Park among them — as well as the voices of his children and their friends as they are becoming college students and young professionals.

Low carbon and mixed-use communities are foundational priorities for growing young professions for young professionals in Ames. Chris Nelson has the right mix of experience and pragmatism to network effectively, sort through options and assist with integration of these priorities into the Ames 2040 plan.

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