Steve O’Rourke to run for Story County Board of Supervisors


Steven O’Rourke campaigning for the vacant seat on the Story County Board of Supervisors.

Claire Hoppe

Steve O’Rourke, a former mortgage banker and real estate broker, is the Republican candidate in the race for Story County Board of Supervisors. 

According to the Story County Board of Supervisors webpage, the Board is the administrative and legislative branch of the County. The Board of Supervisors is responsible for approving bonds and reports, administering the County budget and policy, economic development, filling employee vacancies and setting County tax levy. 

When asked why he was a better candidate for the position, O’Rourke responded by recalling his 40 years of self-employment. 

“When you’re self-employed, you’ve got to get up in the morning and make something happen that day,” O’Rourke said. 

He then touched on his past job experiences and how they have made him prepared to be a County supervisor. He previously worked as a licensed mortgage banker, real estate broker and is a licensed contractor in five states. O’Rourke currently is a licensed public adjuster and owns Ames West Side Storage. 

“[…] I bring a lot of different knowledge and I think right now, the knowledge that’s on the Board is more governmental […] I just think I’m going to bring a different voice,” O’Rourke said. 

O’Rourke then expressed that the most pressing issue he would access if elected would be housing in Story County.  

“The one problem I’ve been hearing about for years and years and years in Story County is affordable housing,” O’Rourke said. “So, we’ve got the housing, there’s product here […] We need families, we need young couples being able to buy real estate.”  

He then went on to detail the program he would use to combat the housing issue — Neighbor Finance Corporation, a private program for renovating and fixing older houses. According to O’Rourke, people could receive up to $20,000 in forgivable construction loans. But in order to bring this program into Story County, O’Rourke needs to raise $1 million. 

“I look at this as another challenge,” O’Rourke said. 

He continued to say that the tiling problem in Story County needs attention, as well as how he is not afraid to make cuts, prioritize and rebudget. 

When asked how he would help to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Story County, O’Rourke responded that it was not his responsibility.  

“[…] I looked up the job description of our supervisors, and there’s six categories that I’m responsible for as supervisor. Stopping the spread of COVID I don’t think is on that list,” O’Rourke said. 

The conversation then shifted to why citizens should trust O’Rourke with budgeting and spending their tax dollars wisely. He said that as a business owner, he understands that when income decreases, expenses often stay the same. He then stresses the need to adjust financially. 

“If I’m doing that [financially adjusting] with my own business, I don’t think I’ll have any problems doing that for Story County,” O’Rourke said. 

When asked how he would fill currently unfilled positions in the County, O’Rourke said the first step would be to evaluate whether the position is necessary. But, if the position is necessary, he would look at people’s qualifications on paper.

“I don’t care if you’re a man or a woman. I don’t care what your race is,” he said. “I don’t care what your religion is. I don’t care what your political affiliations are.” 

O’Rourke also said that while he might not have all of the answers, he is very good at networking and finding people who are able to help.

To conclude, O’Rourke said voters should know that while campaigning might be different this year, he is still trying to be as easily accessible to voters as possible. From waving to citizens from his truck to creating his own website, O’Rourke wants to connect with voters as much as possible.