Dennis Ballantine elected to the Story County Board of Supervisors

Kili Schwantes

Ames Police Chief Dennis Ballantine was elected to the Story County Board of Supervisors Thursday night to succeed the late Fred Mathison.Mathison, a supervisor for 22 years, died Jan. 6 about a month after he was injured in a car accident.The three committee members, David Jamison, Story County treasurer; Mary Mosiman, Story County auditor; and Sue Vande Kamp, Story County reporter; listened to candidates before making a final decision in the special election. About 50 people were in attendance to watch the outcome of the 24 candidates running for the position.Ballantine and Darrel Rensink, who is a retired deputy director of the Iowa Department of Transportation, each received two nominations from the committee before a final decision was made.”I just looked at [Ballantine’s] credentials, his experience in local government, his experience with the people and his experience as a leader,” Jamison said.Ballantine said he had a lot of respect for Mathison.”I feel honored to get the chance to fulfill his term,” Ballantine said.Vande Kamp said the committee was not seeking someone to run for the next election in November 2002, but a candidate who would only finish the remaining two years of Mathison’s unfilled term.Vande Kamp said because the committee consisted of three Republicans, that it was inclined to influence the outcome of Republican Ballantine being elected into office.”I think the Republicans have made it perfectly clear by supporting the board tonight,” said Jim Kurtenbach, chairman of Republicans for Story County.”I think he’s been totally apolitical for the chief of police,” he said. “If there’s anyone in the room tonight who would put the Democrats fears to rest it would be Dennis Ballantine.”Jamison said as long as there is no petition for special election filed by Feb. 8 that Ballantine’s position will be considered permanent until the next election.