Chuck Jons campaigns for city council

Ashley Seaton

Chuck Jons is a retired physician who previously worked at McFarland Clinic. An air force veteran, Jons is extremely involved in volunteering throughout the Ames community.

Jons feels that his volunteering and passion for helping the city, as well as more time to take on the challenge, have influenced his decision to run for the 4th Ward position. He also states that, “Riad [Mahayni] is a guy that I’ve admired for many years.” Following in his footsteps is something that would be incredible admirable.

“I came here to Ames shortly after Hilton and all the other amenities were built, and even since then, the university has been a big motivator regarding what happens in Ames,” he said. “The athletic department, the stadium, different fundraisers … and the city of Ames has been kind of lagging. We have been drug along into this adventure with ISU. My feeling is that we need to start helping out. My idea is that we can work with the university to help develop this flat space.”

Jons feels that it is necessary for improvement in the city and the university to work on improving retail, as well as research opportunities, within the city to create revenue. He feels that both city and university representation are essential.

Being a 4th Ward representative, Jons is particularly concerned with improving Campustown. He says this area has moved from serving primarily the city of Ames to just the students.

Because the university and Ames’ populations are relatively equal, he feels the students are obviously an extremely important part of the community, and there is a dire need for students to get involved.

Jons said, “In the four or five years that they are here, they are so busy with the things that they need to do [for school] that they often don’t get involved with the city. So I wonder if there is a need there to spark a desire for students to become involved”

Specifically regarding Campustown, Jons would like to talk with students and see what they feel needs to be done to improve it.

“The decision is a matter of student need and how it can work into the community,” he said

At the top of Jons list of priorities is simply increasing tax revenue for the city without raising taxes, in addition to getting students involved and helping improve Campustown. He would also like to see an increase of job opportunities throughout Ames; a big issue for students looking to find work off campus.

“Retail needs to be discussed,” he said. “We’ve seen Ames go through a rather severe recession. Fortunately we weren’t hit as bad as some areas, but we do need jobs. We’ve got houses on the market that need to be sold. There are industries that need to be developed. And money that would come from more retail space is money that we can utilize for more social services and those sort of things without increasing the tax rate.”

Jons also has a passion for helping people. He wishes to encourage discussion among the community in efforts to make it a better place.

In explaining his motivations and priorities while running for office, he said, “It’s a little bit of my purpose in life. My purpose in life has been to help other people, and this is a continuation of that. I’m almost 71 years of age, and I decided that there’s a spark still there. I’d like to be apart of what happens in the next few years.”