Thiele set to retire, opening two-horse race for Mayor in November
September 27, 2019


After eight years as Mayor of Dysart and two with the City Council, Pam Thiele has announced she will be stepping down effective after the November 5 election as two candidates have stepped forward vying for the position.

"It has been an honor to serve as the Mayor of Dysart for the past eight years," Thiele said. "The job of Mayor, along with my 2 years previous as a council member, have given me great satisfaction seeing multiple projects completed the past 10 years. However, there is always an underlying level of stress with this position, which can take a toll on a person. I knew it was time for me to step aside and not run for re-election this year. I'm also hoping without the Mayor's responsibilities, my husband and I can visit our 3 children who live out of state more frequently."

Thiele stated her motivation to run originally for council in 2009, was to serve Dysart, which has been her hometown since the age of three. She had previously worked as a professional photographer and has been involved in Vision Dysart while Mayor of Dysart.

"The whole fabric of this community has been my life and all of my memories are woven into it," Thiele said. "There is something so special about our city and I felt required to serve in a capacity to use my abilities to help Dysart continue to thrive."

Two candidates have filed to run for Mayor this election according to Tama County. The first is Mike Sharp, a resident of Dysart since November 2015. Sharpe previously worked as a supervisor for a state jail and moved to the Dysart because his wife is from the area. He works part time on his wife's family farm.

"I was talking with the current Mayor and she indicated she was not going to run for re-election," Sharp said. "I thought 'why don't I try this?' I'd like to see the town stay a small-town USA. Keep it small, close knit and you know your neighbors."

Sharp believes Dysart is on a "good track" as the city is currently replacing underground utilities and redoing the roads above them. Since moving to the area, he has enjoyed the fact children can be out playing without fear, which he feels isn't the case in larger cities such as Waterloo and Cedar Rapids.

"We can grow, add housing in town, yet I feel we don't want commercialized businesses in town," Sharp said. "It's small town America. From sitting at the meetings and listening, these committees all work together on projects such as the information kiosk in town. Dysart is on the right track."

When not farming corn and soybeans or raising cattle on his wife's family farm, Sharp spends his time volunteering at Zion Lutheran Church with handyman projects. Though Sharp has never run for political office before, he believes his experience as a supervisor can serve as valuable, relatable experience.

"My work as a supervisor taught me to listen to people and work out issues," Sharp said. "You assign a task to someone, you bring in the information and communicate who is best to resolve an issue."

The second candidate for Mayor is current Councilman Tim Glenn, who serves as Mayor Pro Tempore for Dysart. Glenn has served on the City Council for 14 years and lived in Dysart for 22 years with his wife Cara with their three children. He currently works at Eikamp Insurance and sold medical supplies on the road previously for 30 years.

"I've been on the council over these years and running for Mayor has been something I want to do," Glenn said. "With Pam retiring, I figured it was my time to fill in the void. Coming into city government, you feel like you're going to do so much right away, but of course the wheels of government turn very slowly. I've learned the regulations to follow to accomplish the things you want to do."

Glenn wishes to continue the infrastructure and street projects planned for the city, which includes preparing for the mandated lagoon project in 2022. He hopes to keep businesses currently in Dysart in addition to new small businesses through tax abatement, which was approved in February of this year. These efforts, Glenn states, are done in order to keep residents in Dysart and attract more young families to Dysart.

"Little Knights Learning Center has really helped keep kids in our school system," Glenn said. "I hope we can keep businesses on Main Street and bring more people to town. We need people to know the stories of Dysart and opposed to the bigger cities."

As a member of the Dysart City Council, Glenn sits on the Parks and Pool committees as well as Streets committees. His family attends the local Catholic cluster in Traer, La Porte City and Eagle Grove. Glenn volunteers his time with as an ambulance driver for the Dysart Ambulance Department and has volunteered coached for his kids' activities.

"I enjoy the small-town atmosphere Dysart provides," Glenn said. "Everyone watches out for each other and we have great teachers in our schools. That's why I wanted to raise my family here."

Both candidates will be invited to participate in a Q&A feature by The Dysart Reporter at a date closer to the election. While each candidate believes they have the best vision of how to make Dysart safer, economically viable and responsive to resident's needs, Thiele hopes the next Mayor will continue programs already accomplishing those goals.

"I look forward to seeing Dysart grow and attract new residents and visitors," Thiele said. "There will always be obstacles and challenges. With calculated, thoughtful decisions made by the council and new Mayor, progress will continue to be made. Residents, businesses, city Staff & Council, we're all on the same team: wanting what's best for Dysart. With everyone working together, our city can do amazing things."

The 2019 election will be held on November 5, which include incumbent City Councilmen Stacey Dabney and Mary Wankowicz running opposed for re-election. Union Community School District will also have their school board elections on the same date. Coverage of the school election is planned for a future issue of the Dysart Reporter.


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