Jim Kingery was raised in Red Rock Township and has lived in Marion County all his life. Married to his wife, Kathy, for 40 years, the couple has 3 sons and 2 grandchildren and currently live on a family farm 3 miles south of Monroe. Kingery has served in many capacities in Marion County, the last four years as a member of the Marion County Board of Supervisors. He is running for re-election in the June 5 primary.
After graduating from Monroe High School, Kingery joined the military and served in the Air National guard for 29 years, retiring as a 1st Sergeant. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Law Enforcement Academy, and was activated during Desert Storm. He worked with Emergency Management during the floods of 1993 with the Des Moines Police Dept. and County Sheriff’s Department securing bridges. He led a security and anti-terrorism force of 50 National Guardsmen sent to Atlanta, GA for the 1996 Olympics. He has serves as a trustee for Red Rock Township, and is a member and past president of the Prairie City-Monroe School Advisory Board. Kingery worked for the County Road Department for 34 years, the last 4 as a foreman for the eastern half of Marion County.
He has enjoyed his last 4 years as a Supervisor. “What I have learned this past 4 years as while working as supervisor will enable me to perform my job even better if I am re-elected.” He describes making progress keeping a tight rein on the budget. “Better times are coming with increasedl employment, but there’s not a lot of money coming in right now and we have to be careful with what we have. Costs are increasing, but we have maintained County services without going over budget. We simply have to keep the roads, bridges, and other infrastructure at a high level to draw in business and industry, which will means jobs and additional County funds.”
Kingery described progress Marion County has made. “We refinanced the debt on the jail and saved $210,000. Most of the repair and maintenance to be done with the local option sales tax has been completed. With no new buildings, we’ll save about $750,000. We collaborated with Lucas County and are getting a higher quality of rock from the quarry south of Knoxville. We’re saving 70% on prescriptions in the mental health budget by going to a wholesaler. There’s no waiting list in Marion County to receive mental health services, and we’re really lucky in that respect.”
“There are always ways to save,” he continued. “I learned that Jasper County got a 25% rebate from the State Historical Society of Iowa for the work they did restoring their courthouse, and we’re eligible for those same kinds of rebates to help with the roof and renovations we’ve already done, and work on the clock tower we intend to do. We could be eligible for up to $700,000. Money’s out there, you just have to go after it.”
Looking to the future, Kingery envisions keeping up the infrastructure that will draw industry, working towards completion of the Pella/I-80 corridor, keeping the budget in line, and saving for unexpected expenses.” He is particularly leery of unfunded mandates from the state.
When not performing the duties of County Supervisor, Kingery still works on the family farm, and is a member of the American Legion and the Farm Bureau. He enjoys college and high school sports, helping his neighbors, and spending time with his grandchildren. He donates his time as a coach for the Prairie City/Monroe Little Mustang Wrestling Program. Asked whom he admires, he named Ronald Reagan. “He was quite a guy, not because of his politics, but because he sure knew how to talk to people. Communication is everything.”
Between his 34 years with the County Road Department and his last 4 as a Supervisor, Kingery believes he is well qualified to continue serving. “I know the road system very well and can help solve any problem with that. I’ve been a public servant all my life and I don’t think I’ve failed to help anyone who has sought help.”
The easiest part of the job for Kingery is “interacting with Marion County residents and working with department heads and my fellow employees. There are always issues but employees are positive and responsive. “The toughest part of being a supervisor? “You have to make sure you do the research necessary to make the proper decisions.”
Jim Kingery would appreciate your vote on June 5. “I have learned so much the last 4 years. I really feel like I know the system and have developed the beneficial relationships that will lead to even more efficient public service in my next term.”