• warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.

Four running for three council seats in Oxford

Introducing Patricia “Pat” Lewis

OXFORD– Four candidates are on the ballot for three city council seats in Oxford.
Incumbent Lorena Weppler is joined by challengers David Cook, Bryan Cooling and Patricia Lewis for three seats on the council, with a four-year term.
Voters will also be asked to approve “Public Measure MA – Library Levy,” which if passed (50 percent required) would authorize the City of Oxford to levy an amount of 27 cents per $1,000 valuation for the purpose of increasing the annual operating budget of the Oxford Public Library. If approved, collection would commence in the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021 with an indefinite expiration.
Questions were emailed to the candidates, and as of the deadline for this edition of the North Liberty Leader, only Lewis had responded. Her responses are printed below.
Pat Lewis, and her husband Ron, are retired and have lived in Oxford for nearly five years. She spent the first 20 years of her life on a 220-acre far near Birmingham, Iowa. “We milked 40 head of Brown Swiss, raised Black Angus, Duroc hogs, sheep, sold hatching eggs and had four horses. We raised corn, soybeans, oats, and alfalfa hay. The Lewises have been married for 47 years, and for most of that time (except for seven years in Vicksburg, Miss.) lived in his hometown of Elmira, New York. The couple has three children and three grandchildren.
Lewis earned a BA from the University of Iowa as well as a Master’s in Education from Elmira College. She holds a permanent teacher’s certification in New York, was a Certified Achieve Global/Zinger Miller Adult Trainer, and a 5S Quality Auditor.

Why are you running for election to the city council? If an incumbent, why are you seeking reelection? — “I am running because some of my friends asked me run, and because Oxford is a beautiful example of all I loved about growing up in Iowa. When you are down, your neighbors pick you up, when you need help they appear at your door with either food or asking what you need, and when you wave at them, they wave back and smile. Oxford is a reflection of the farms that surround it, many of its residents farmed and have retired to Oxford. It also has many young families and those looking for a less expensive place to live but with the benefits of being close to the VA, U of Iowa Hospitals, and local businesses growing along with Iowa's place in the world. I hope to help Oxford continue to be successful. Oxford thrives because of the area where it is located and because of the community of people who live here.”

What skills, experience, and background do you bring to the council? — My experience is varied. My first jobs were part time as a retail training coordinator, and the program director for a non-profit, Junior Achievement. Intermixed with these was substitute teaching covering social studies, English, music, and art. I have had five full time jobs. First: Operations Manager for nature center, handling finances, fund raising, organizing volunteers, and running summer camp.
2nd: Buyer for Maintenance Dept. at Eaton Division in Horseheads, New York: purchasing chemicals, repair materials for maintaining building, the plating and furnace area of the manufacturing plant.
3rd: in Eaton Team Facilitator working with teams made up of hourly/salary employees from manufacturing floor, design and sales engineers, supervisors, HR and purchasing. We developed improvement projects, presented them to management, and once approved, worked to complete.
4th: Eaton Supply Chain Specialist: responsible for purchasing copper bar, stainless steel bar and sheet, stamped parts, chemicals, and the inventory control of these items. Included forecasting from production numbers, ordering and planning with suppliers, and meeting on time performance numbers provided by corporate. My last full time job was after I spent almost a year in Oxford helping our daughter with our granddaughter’s health care, was as an office manager for two brothers: one built new homes, did large and small construction jobs, owned multiple rental properties. His brother owned and ran a parts supply store. I did the payroll, taxes and financials for both businesses. My current part time is helping prepare and serve food at the Oxford Sale Barn.”

What do you see as the greatest challenge, or challenges, facing the City of Oxford? — “Several years ago a vision study was completed, a number of the items in this study has already been completed. I would like to help complete the additional items, and also see the Second and Third phases of the current sewer project finished. Oxford has available commercial space, the challenge is finding entrepreneurs and blending them constructively with the small town atmosphere that make Oxford such a great place to live. I would also like to see additional parking space created near the Oxford baseball fields.”

What would be your proposed solution, and as one voice on the council, how would you garner support? — “There is no one solution, and a single voice is not the answer. The residents of Oxford know what our issues are: the council need to guard the funds available, listen to the voices of our residents, and when needed guide, educate, and support them thru the discussions, and decisions that will need to be made. As a council we are the guardians of our city, when they vote for us they are trusting us use our experiences and expertise to protect them were they live.”

What is your assessment of the state of the City of Oxford overall, and how do you think you can benefit it by being on the council? — “Oxford just celebrated an awesome Sesquicentennial. When walking almost every day I see our Johnson County Sheriff or deputies watching over our town. I have personally seen the amazing volunteer firemen we have on two emergency occasions. Our library is supported by a strong group of townspeople. We just had two new businesses join our commercial district. Our yearly calendar is full of events: from the Haunted Happenings, to fall dinner fund raisers from our local churches, guest authors and special events at the Library, Wednesday lunches for seniors at the St Mary's Hall, Dinners, and special events by the local VFW, a Fireworks display that rival any larger town.
Oxford is a truly great place to live, my objective as a council person is to help preserve, protect and utilize the opportunities the next few years will bring.”