Sandy Ehrig sworn in to fill Ward 3 City Council vacancy

Marlys Barker, Editor
New Nevada City Council member, Sandy Ehrig, is sworn in by Nevada Mayor Brett Barker to fill the Ward 3 vacancy left by Jim Walker’s departure. Photo by Marlys Barker

Of the four people who turned in applications to fill the Ward 3 Nevada City Council seat vacated by Jim Walker, one scored highest with the committee that handled reviewing applicants and making a recommendation to the council.

Sandy Ehrig, a 26-year resident of Nevada, who presently works as an economic development administrator for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, was approved by a vote of the full council and sworn in Monday at the beginning of the regular council meeting.

Ehrig has served as a Nevada Library trustee for nearly 18 years. She was chair of that board for eight of those years, helping oversee the library’s renovation project. Her experience in decision-making and community involvement includes serving as chair for the Iowa Rural Development Council and co-chair with the lt. governor on the Empower Rural Iowa Initiative. She is also vice chair for the Iowa Small Business Development Center advisory board.

When asked why she was interested in serving on the City Council, Ehrig said she was excited to join a “visionary leadership team.” She noted that she admires the proactive efforts she sees going on in Nevada. “The city’s support of Main Street Iowa application, housing development, cleanup/fixup of properties, recreation facility improvements and support of NEDC and its contract with the Ames Chamber and Economic Development are all in my area of expertise and interest.”

When asked, on her application, what she sees as the most important issues for Nevada at this time, she said the projects related to downtown development and providing the organizational structure to address and maintain this momentum.

Her goals, she said, “would be to help the community grow its tax base with both residential and commercial expansion. I am very interested in promoting Nevada as a great community to live, visit and work and to be sure that we can support that claim with our investment and vision.”

Others who applied with interest in the position were Austin Good, Matt Hovar and John Swanson. The mayor noted that all candidates were qualified, but Ehrig’s tie-ins to rural development and economic development “will be a real asset to the council.” The committee that reviewed the applicants included Barker and councilmen Luke Spence and Jason Sampson.

In other business, Nevada’s Director of Public Safety Ric Martinez and Fire Chief Ray Reynolds were asked how the Fourth of July went this year. Both reported that there were no major incidents.

Martinez said it was like any other year as far as some of the complaints about fireworks, but overall, he and Reynolds feel that the shorter time frame for letting residents shoot them and the fact that their legality isn’t “new” anymore has helped ease things.

“I think it seems quieter this year,” Reynolds said. He also said he thought the sales location at Fareway was a lot better this year. “I was a little concerned with how it was going to be run, but I was pleasantly surprised with how clean things were around there.”