Incumbent Tom Westhoff will face off against Ashley Wohlers in the upcoming race to serve a four-year term for the at-large seat on the Dyersville City Council. Both were given the opportunity to answer the following questions.

Next week’s Dyersville Commercial will feature a similar Q&A for the Dyersville City Council ward three contest between Ben Ellison, Manessa Gaul and Mike Oberbroeckling.

Tom Westhoff

Q: Tell us some background information about yourself

A: I grew up on a farm just south of Dyersville where my brother and his wife still reside. After graduating from Beckman, I received an associates’ degree in Robotics from Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa and later returned to school to get my mechanical engineering degree from Iowa State University. My wife Teresa and I moved from Clive to Dyersville in 2007 to raise our two sons in a town with a strong sense of community and a safe environment. I am a senior energy services manager for WPPI Energy, a wholesale electric power company based in Sun Prairie, Wis.

Q: Why are you running for this seat?

A: I’ve really enjoyed serving Dyersville on the city council. Although a lot has been accomplished in the last four years, I feel as though we have a lot to continue to work on and try to achieve. The 12th Ave to 13th Ave bridge is a project that is high on the priority list and I would very much like to be involved in making that project happen as long as we can do it in an economically feasible manner. I would also like to see us continue to make advances in quality of life projects as well in the next four years.

Q: In your opinion, what are some of the challenges facing Iowans today, and as an elected official, how can you help Iowans facing those challenges?

A: Iowans, like most Americans, are facing challenges created or made worse by the pandemic: labor shortages, supply chain disruption and delays, political divide, policy disagreements, struggle for local control, the list can go on and on if we want to focus solely on the challenges. As an elected official at the city level, I feel we can be a positive force and have a direct impact on the lives of citizens because we are continually looking out for the betterment of the community and not trying to achieve political one-upmanship. As a city council person, I can discuss policy without bringing up the names Pelosi or Trump (insert smiley face emoji here). Every two years the city staff, city council, and mayor get together for the purpose of goal setting. We review what has been accomplished in the previous two years, list projects in progress, and compile a list of goals and vote to determine what goals should be given the highest priority for the next two years. This is a very valuable exercise. What I’ve found to be the most rewarding aspect is listing what has been completed or is currently in progress from the previous goal-setting session.

Q: Anything else you would like voters to know heading into the election?

A: I would like voters to know that I feel fortunate to have grown up in Dyersville. I feel equally if not more fortunate that Dyersville was an option for my wife and me as we looked for a place to raise our two sons. Not everyone from small-town Iowa who moves away feels as though their hometown is a place they could return to for the purpose of raising their kids. I’d like to continue to play a part in making sure that Dyersville is a place that everyone will always be proud to call home.

Ashley Wohlers

Q: Tell us some background information about yourself.

A: My name is Ashley Wohlers, formerly Ashley Prier, I have resided in Dyersville for 33 years. I have a young family, Piper, who is three years old and Olivia, who is my one-year-old. After high school, I studied criminal justice which consisted of learning and knowing the constitution and the Bill of Rights. A lot of people have seen me around the community as I work with intellectually disabled adults at Unlimited Services, Inc. going into my 13th year.

Q: Why are you running for this seat?

A: I am running for a seat on the council because I want to represent the citizens of Dyersville’s view and be their voice on the council. I want to be part of the voice for the future of our community. I have been a resident of Dyersville for 33 years. I want to see some changes in Dyersville that draw people into the town. I want to see the historic monuments stay preserved as well as the elegancy of the town and its people.

Q: In your opinion, what are some of the challenges facing Iowans today, and as an elected official, how can you help Iowans facing those challenges?

A: Iowans are facing challenges with the Covid-19 Pandemic- Mask mandates as a tedious subject in society today, do we mask, or do we not mask? With the rising COVID-19 numbers and now the Delta variant, we must take in consideration and outweigh the good and the bad, the harmful and the protection. As elected officials, we need to step back and outweigh the pros and the cons. I would like to hear from the community on whether they would like to see a mask mandate in the city, but we are all adults, I believe we can make our own choices, if you feel comfortable without masking, that’s your freedom of choice. We can also discuss private shopping times for those at high risk if it’s not already in place.

Q: Anything else you would like voters to know heading into the election?

A: no response.

— Compiled by Dylan Kurt