Candidates for LS City Council

November 8 is election day for the cities of Lime Springs and Chester. This week, those running for office in Lime Springs are answering questions. Next week, those running in Chester will answer questions.

In Lime Springs, current mayor, Barb Robinson is running unopposed, but the two positions for council have four residents running.

The questions included family names, how many years they have served on Council, groups the candidate is involved in and how that experience will help on the council, why is he/she running, what is the biggest issue in Lime Springs and any other information.

Barb Robinson


Barb Robinson is married to Jerry. Their children are David and Leanna adn they have five grandchidlren and one great-grandchild.

Years on council: Mayor for the past two years.

Groups: As a small town Mayor you are automatically put on County Boards the day you are elected such as: Assessors Board, Emergency Management Board, Howard County Economic Development etc. Some of these only meet twice a year to approve budgets and others are monthly informative meetings.

I am also a member of the Community Center Board, and try to help out anyway I can with the Pool, Parks, Library and Fire Dept Boards. I teach third and fourth grade Sunday School at the Methodist Church

Why running: Good question, because some days I wonder what the [heck] I was thinking.

I grew up here and over the years I have seen many people volunteering and serving their community, and doing a fantastic job of it.

I just hope I can somehow make a difference here, whether it be fixing problems, inspiring someone to volunteer some time or to run for office.

Biggest issue: This is an easy and a very difficult question. The biggest issue facing this community is financial.

The City has no Reserve Fund, unlike other small towns who have been able to continually put money aside for a “rainy day.” Our infrastructure is very antiquated, and some things are a heartbeat away from failure. There has been very little maintenance done to the lagoon and water tower/pump house since they were installed 20-30 years ago. Our water lines and sewer lines are aging, our streets are breaking up, in general we have problems that only money can fix. We have limited funding coming in and prices keep going up.

When I took over as Mayor in January of 2010, I could see by the end of the month we weren’t even going to be able to meet payroll in February. We made it through September of 2010 with the help of a line of credit from the bank and even managed to pay that off by October 2010.

In 2011 we cut everyone’s budget to the bone and thought we could break even, but the water tower had to be sandblasted and painted. We think we are gaining and something else breaks down. This is not going be a quick fix, it’s taken many years to get this bad and it will take a long time to get us built up again.

Do I have all the answers? No, probably not. Being broke gets old really quick. I’d love to be able to call contractors to come in and completely repair everything within city limits, but that is just not going to happen.

We are going to have to figure out how we can cut spending, cut budgets, find cheaper sources, account for every penny, fund-raise, write grants and network with other towns our size.

We are not the only small town out here with these problems and issues but at times it sure feels like we are.


Gordon Dornink


Gordon R. Dornink and wife Linda have seven children—two girls are married and our oldest son is in college at Wartburg. We have four children still at home. Our youngest three children are all juniors at Crestwood High School. We have one grandson who is just two months old.

Years on council: I have never served on city council/mayor before.

Groups: I am not involved in any groups right now, but was on the board for the former Youth for Christ in Cresco years ago. I was also on the Board at our former church that we attended. Being part of those boards gives me some experience working with others together for a common goal.

Why running: I want to get more involved with our town and get to know people more as well. I am interested in helping keep our town doing well.

Biggest issue: I think the biggest issue facing our town is finances. I want to help bring interest to Lime Springs….get people to love our town as much as we do and want to stay or visit more. Not only will others get to know and love Lime Springs, but it will also bring revenue in.

Other info: We moved to Lime Springs last October, have lived here one year and love it. I grew up in Greenleafton and have been a dairyman/herdsman all my life, except for the years I went to college.

We really feel at home here and settled in. My wife and I look forward to getting more and more involved. This is our home…Lime Springs…a real home to be proud of.


Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson is married to Sandra. The couple have two children, Shawn and Dawn, and six grandchildren.

Years on council: I was on council before for six years and am now filling in for a replacement term.

Groups: Right now, I am not in any groups.

Why running: I want to help improve things in the city and see how it all runs.

Biggest issue: Right now there is no big issue. We just have to see if we can improve so the city can run more cost efficient.

Other info: I am a new business owner in the city trying to help improve things and take care of people’s needs.


‘Roger’ Lepa


James “Roger” Lepa is married to Patricia and the couple’s children are David, Sharon, Leann and Franci.

Years on council: 16 years

Groups: My experience as city water superintendent, city wastewater superintendent, street superintendent and also city marshal for several years gives me a lot of knowledge of how cities are run.

Why running: To try and keep senior citizens from having money spent from their income. To see the city spend only for critical items on budget.

Biggest issue: Our biggest problem we have is our finances. We were put in a hole that is being taken care of, but this will take time. We have a good mayor and council who are working hard to get this accomplished. This will be done.

Other info: Lime Springs is a wonderful small city. We are all or should be thankful for living here. We have several things that we should brag about—swimming pool, fire department, community center, library, parks, water plant, sewage lagoon, tennis court and several more. Thanks Lime Springs. We love you.


Leann Thomas

Leann Thomas and hubby Jim have two children, Jacob and Abby.

Why running: I have lived in Lime Springs for 30 years. It is a great place to raise your children and call your home. I know we are facing hard economic times, and I would like to see Lime Springs stay the way it is; a safe, friendly community.

We have a lot of things to offer such as the parks, pool, library, and school. I would like to be a city council member and be involved in keeping Lime Springs the great family oriented community it is. I realize it will not be an easy task, but I hope I have something to offer.


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