Rep. Lisa Heddens puts name in for vacant Board of Supervisors seat

Robbie Sequeira Special to the Herald
Rep. Lisa Heddens is interested in filling the vacancy on the Story County Board of Supervisors. Contributed photo

Rep. Lisa Heddens is currently serving her eighth term in the Iowa House of Representatives, but the Ames Democrat has her eyes set on another position.

Heddens is interested in filling the vacancy on the Story County Board of Supervisors.

“It’s been truly an honor to serve in the Iowa Legislature, it isn’t anything I’m taking lightly in making any particular changes,” Heddens told the Tribune in a phone interview. “But, I look forward for the opportunity to be considered for the appointment and to work to grow and provide opportunity for all in Story County.”

On May 20, the Vacancy Committee made the decision fill Rick Sanders’ vacant seat via appointment, and the application process ends on June 5.

Heddens said her interest was piqued when she heard of the vacancy, and she thinks her legislative acumen and familiarity with the county will translate, if appointed.

“I look at the legislation that I’ve worked on over the years that impact the county, and I feel my background and expertise can help me fill the role and address the needs of the county, if selected,” Heddens said.

Heddens is actively involved with the area of mental health, serving as a executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Central Iowa (NAMICI) and a ranking member of the Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. She hopes to continue to infuse the topic of mental health into the the daily operations of the county.

“This session, we passed the large mental health bill, and much of that is going to fall on the counties to implement it,” Heddens said. “So to be able to work in that capacity of having folk understand the intent of the legislation and working toward funding and the development of a culture of mental health of children.”

Heddens also championed her ability to work across the aisle, and said she’s committed to maximizing the benefits of local government by reaching to individual Iowans impacted by decision on the state and federal level.

Among the other issues Heddens wants to address at the county level, she pinpointed infrastructure, continued economic development of the county’s expanding towns, agriculture and election integrity.

“Story County isn’t just made of Ames,” Heddens said. “It’s Nevada, it’s Zearing, it’s Maxwell, it’s Story City. It’s look at their strengths, and looking at projects like Nevada applying for that Main Street designation which will help further their economic growth.

“I certainly want to meet with all these folks in these rural areas and towns to get their feedback on what we can do help them.”

If Heddens is appointed, joining Board Chair Linda Murken and Lauris Olson, all three members of the board would be Democrats.

If selected to fill the position, via Iowa Code, Heddens would forfeit her role as a state representative. According to Iowa Code § 68B.2A, while legislators can hold dual employment, they are subjected to restrictions. Legislators cannot engage in any outside employment that utilizes any of the trappings of the office for pecuniary benefit.