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VInton Today asked our mayoral candidates, and the new council member candidates to submit a profile about themselves and to address any issues that they felt were going well, things that need to be improved, or goals that they would like to see accomplished in Vinton, and of course, anything else they'd like to share.

I am a 1992 graduate of Vinton Shellsburg and a lifelong resident of Vinton. My mom, Zelda Bower, retired from the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School serving as the Orientation and Mobility Instructor for the blind. My dad, Bill, worked as a tuckpointer and later on the family farm. I married my husband Adam in 2000 and have been fortunate to work from home, assisting my husband with managing his successful drywall business, running the household, and helping to raise our two children. Ayden is a 2021 alumni of Vinton-Shellsburg and he works alongside his father. Our daughter Ava is in middle school and will be a freshman before we know it!

I want to focus on all the reasons why Adam and I love our hometown and stayed here to raise our children. Community involvement seems to be a growing trend and I find it refreshing to see younger generations getting involved! I love to see how much our citizens take pride in our community. Our city leaders have done an excellent job expanding family-friendly venues and low-cost entertainment options. Change is bittersweet but renovations and updates to the Braille School campus are also bringing more opportunities to the citizens of Vinton.

Vinton has been a great place to raise our children in a community built on strong family values. Despite setbacks from the pandemic, our small Iowa town has always come together in times of adversity to push forward and continue to grow.

It seems several other candidates and I are in agreement that there is a need for more transparency and accountability from our city government. I believe there needs to be more fairness and better accessibility for public attendance at council meetings. I made the decision to run for city council because I want to give back to my community and help Vinton continue to grow ethically.

My children are older now and this has left me with more time to get involved. While I respectfully thank the current members for their service and the long-lasting contributions they have made, I feel that perhaps it is time to bring new faces and fresh perspectives to the council as we all do our best to find a way through all the challenges ahead of us. I would like to encourage citizens to participate in discussions where our freedoms and constitutional rights are involved. These are the ways I would be honored to serve my fellow community members!

Thank you for considering me, Valerie Bearbower, for City Council to represent my friends and neighbors here in the 3rd Ward!

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