Remember the man who spearheaded the idea of a casino in Lyon County? The year was 2008, and the man was Rock Rapids native and former Lyon County Economic Development Director Glenn Anderson. Anderson said he got the idea while talking to a man from Washington County, Iowa, where Riverside Casino is located.
While the effort was started and eventually did culminate in a multi-million dollar casino on the state line near Larchwood, a little over a year after Anderson got the ball rolling — without much explanation — the county board decided to terminate the county’s contract with Anderson.
Well, Anderson is back. This time he’s running for the position of Lyon County Auditor.
Anderson announced his intentions at a press conference on Monday morning in Rock Rapids.
He says that as a native of Rock Rapids, and northwest Iowa in particular, Lyon County, has always been his “hometown.” He says that as an adult he has always felt a pull to return and make a contribution. Anderson says that he took great satisfaction in the strides the county took while he was Economic Development Director, which even after his departure, encouraged him to do more.
He says he believes he is the only candidate with a demonstrated ability to not only save money for the county, but the only candidate that has generated money for the county.
We’ll hear more about the candidate in future newscasts on KIWA.
By Scott Van Aartsen
Photo Caption: Glenn Anderson announces the proposal to bring a casino to Lyon County in July, 2008.
Press Release From the Anderson Campaign:
Rock Rapids native and former Lyon County Economic Development Director Glenn Anderson, announced Monday, Feb. 27, his candidacy for Lyon County Auditor. Anderson opened the press conference with the following statement.
As a native of Rock Rapids, and northwest Iowa in particular, Lyon County, has always been my hometown. As an adult I have always felt a pull to return and make a contribution. I took great satisfaction in the strides the county took while I was Economic Development Director, which even after my departure, encouraged me to do more. I believe I am the only candidate with a demonstrated ability to not only save money for the county, but the only candidate that has generated money for the county.
One of the issues discussed concerned Anderson’s termination from the Lyon County Economic Development Director position in 2009. Anderson had prepared a 28E agreement that, if passed, would equally divide the .5 percent of the money received from Grand Falls Casino Resort between the eight towns in Lyon County, estimated to be $250,000-$300,000.
Although it was not named, it is believed to be Larchwood that did not approve the agreement. Larchwood is receiving $270,000 annually while each of the remaining towns receives $30,000 annually.
Following the dispute of the dispersion of funds, a legal but unauthorized audit was performed. Anderson submitted mileage he had written prior to taking a trip, and it turned out he did not use the miles he had submitted. Anderson found this mistake and paid the mileage compensation back in full. The Board of Supervisors claimed they felt this was enough reason to terminate him from the position.
The complete document of the letters explaining and leading up to Anderson’s termination can be viewed at www.lyoncountyreporter.com.
Anderson pointed to his experience in development and management of annual budgets, including direct experience in Lyon County as the Economic Development Director during which he conserved annual spending resulting in a $30,000 savings and for the fiscal year of 2008 to 2009, reduced the Development Budget from the previous year.
As Economic Development Director Anderson conceived and developed the concept for Grand Falls Casino and Resort. This has resulted in a 2012 property tax assessment that has increased Lyon County”’s tax base by one million dollars plus annually.
Subsequent to voter approval of the proposed resort/casino on behalf of the Lyon County Board of Supervisors, Anderson developed and negotiated one of Iowas most lucrative contracts between the Grand Falls Casino and Resort owners and the County Board of Supervisors.
Directly related to the Grand Falls operation he developed and organized the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation, resulting in an estimated two million dollars to be given away in 2012 to non-profit organizations.
In an effort to retain and grow existing Lyon County industry, Anderson designed and implemented on behalf of the Auditor/County Board of Supervisors, the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Program and Agreement with Diversified Technologies of George and NOVARTIS of Larchwood.
On the eastern edge of the county he developed and directed the original committee for the City of George to build a new swimming pool and help organize the fund raising committee.
Anderson also served as the Community Chairman of RAGBRAI. The success of RAGBRAI resulted in $27,000 dispersed to nonprofits within Lyon County, principally fire and ambulance crews within the county.
His broad based experience also includes service as the inaugural Vice President of the Northwest Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund on behalf of the Lyon County Board of Supervisors. Anderson also served as a voting board member on the Northwest Iowa Planning and Development Commission Board of Directors on behalf of the Lyon County Board of Supervisors.
While Economic Development Director, Anderson secured funds on behalf of the Lyon County Auditor, funding the payment for the reprinting of election ballots, saving Lyon County nearly $10,000.
If elected, Anderson sees four priority initiatives: He will seek better communication by the Auditors Office which will serve as the County’s Communications Central.
To that end he will see to it that Information is readily accessible by updating the county website to allow for more information to be accessed in a user friendly way.
His office will keep residents informed through the development of an E-newsletter providing news of what is happening inside Lyon County government
Finally, his office will forecast spending by developing multi-year budget projections.
If you feel these are among numerous viable objectives for Lyon County, Anderson asks for your vote.