Meet the Tama County Board of Supervisors District 4 GOP Candidates: Mark E. Doland

Mark E. Doland.

Ahead of the June 4 Primary Election, Tama-Grundy Publishing sent questionnaires to all candidates running in contested races for the Tama County Board of Supervisors including those running for the Republican nomination in District 4 which includes a portion of Carlton Township, most of the southern half of Howard Township, and Toledo Township. The district encompasses the communities of Garwin and Toledo. Mark E. Doland is one of two candidates for the Republican nomination. One candidate filed in District 4 for the Democratic primary race, Berleen Wobeter of Toledo. The winner of the June 4 Republican primary will run in the General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2024. The office of Tama County Supervisors District 3 is a four-year term.

Mark Doland

Age: 48

Residence location: Toledo, Iowa

Profession: Probation Officer

Education: M.A. Christian Counseling with emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. B.A. in Christian Counseling with emphasis in Substance Abuse Counseling, B.A. in Biblical Studies

Family: Married to Gwendy Doland (Thede), with eight children and one newborn grandson

1) Why do you want to be a county supervisor? What is your motivation for running?

I would like to serve as a county supervisor to represent all of the people of the district. I believe that there are many who are frustrated by the lack of ability to communicate with the current board. I also see the need for securing more mental health and substance use disorder services in the southern half of the county.

2) Have you previously run for elected office? If so, for what office(s)?

Yes. I currently serve as the Chairman for the Tama County Republicans, have served on the Iowa Republican State Central Committee, formerly served as Secretary of the Iowa State Republican Central Committee, served as a School Board Representative in Fremont, Iowa, County Supervisor in Mahaska, and served as the Chairman and Co-Chair for the Mahaska County Republicans.

3) What distinguishes you from the other candidates in your primary race?

I have a proven track record of accomplishing monumental feats for the people that I have represented in the past. I am able to bring people to the table and navigate opposing views to accomplish a good outcome for the community.

4) What changes, if any, do you believe need to be made in Tama County government?

The government itself needs good leadership with a clear vision. I see no vision currently and we are in a state of decline.

5) What challenges does Tama County face today that you would like to see addressed by the county board of supervisors? If elected, what would you do to help address those challenges?

Some of the major challenges that we face is the roaring epidemic of substance abuse and mental health crisis plaguing our community. Resources are sparse and the need continues to outpace the services that we provide exponentially. I have a record of accomplishment in securing resources and services for those struggling in rural areas. I would enlist professionals that I have worked with in the past to address the ongoing epidemic and proactively implement services with the rise of fentanyl seeping into our area.

6) Following the 2024 election, do you believe the county needs to return to a three-member board of supervisors? Why or why not?

This is a non-issue. State law prohibits the question from even being put on the ballot until 2026. The voters of the county overwhelmingly voted to move to a five member board. That board hasn’t even been elected yet, nor seated. I believe it would be best practice to honor the vote of the people and see how it works. The last-minute face plant that the current board tried to maneuver to overturn the will of the people was a perfect example of the need for change. The people spoke loud and clear. I believe that there is a good ole’ boy network that is threatened by the prospect of a new board. Whether I am elected or not, the incoming board will be new and the old stronghold will be gone. The county will be better for it.

7) The development of utility scale wind/solar energy projects in Tama County continues to be a divisive issue. What is your position and why regarding A) a possible wind and/or solar energy moratorium – temporary or otherwise, and B) property rights as it relates to utility scale wind and solar energy projects?

This continues to be one of the most predominant conversations that I am hearing from the potential voters that I speak to. Regarding a possible wind and/or solar energy moratorium, I believe is a political and not legal question. As I understand, the current board has not passed a moratorium because they are afraid that they are going to get sued by the companies that have already received their permits and entered into contracts with after being threatened by their attorneys. Passing a moratorium is completely legal at any point as it only affects current and future projects. By passing a moratorium it gives policy makers time to understand the issues and it gives the stakeholders the ability to make their cases before moving forward with any future projects. It is a win-win and I totally support it. By not taking a position, it has caused a cluster you-know-what and allowed for the controversy to boil over into unrest and has both sides frustrated. I will provide clear and concise leadership to come to a good outcome.

8) Why should people vote for you on June 4, 2024?

If you prefer leadership with a clear vision and a proven record of accomplishments I would ask for your vote. If you prefer to continue the animus and decline we are currently in, you should keep the incumbents where they are.