GOP supervisor cites commitment to fiscal responsibility, countywide priorities
CLIVE, Iowa – Polk County Supervisor Robert Brownell announced today that he will seek re-election next year, noting his commitment to fiscal responsibility and the “big-picture issues create benefits for people well beyond the boundaries” of his district.
“Ensuring that tax dollars are not only directed to the right priorities but that they’re also used as efficiently and effectively as possible has been one of my guiding principles since the first day I held public office. That’s never going to change as long as the residents of our county put their trust in me to make decisions about their tax dollars,” the Republican supervisor said. “While I’ve always put constituents first, I also believe I have a responsibility to improve the quality of life across the entire county and I’ll continue to work with my colleagues, county staff and the public to accomplish worthwhile goals.”
During the past four years, Brownell has dedicated his time and energy to the development of the Urbandale Miracle League baseball field that caters to youth ages 5-18 who are unable to play in mainstream league due to a disability and also include opportunities for adults with disabilities; a public/private partnership to deliver full-time primary health care at the Central Iowa Homeless Shelter, securing financial support to the Partnership for a Healthier Johnston; providing leadership to help the Food Bank of Iowa purchase a new refrigerated van to expand its food rescue efforts; supporting the Urbandale School Boosters’ effort to fund a new fitness center at Urbandale High School; taking the lead role to secure the county’s financial support for Johnston’s Terra Park; collaborating with Clive officials to fund a free clinic, food pantry and clothes closet through the city’s social services department, which serves many Burmese refugees; and funding vision screening for the Johnston, Urbandale and Dallas Center-Grimes school districts.
“He’s done a great job of serving the community. He understands local government, having been the mayor of Clive,” said Iowa Senate President Charles Schneider, a West Des Moines Republican who worked with Brownell during Schneider’s time as a city councilman. “He knows how things operate within county government and who to talk to and work with to get things done. He was an especially good resource in developing mental health legislation this past year at the Statehouse because he understands how it’s financed and how it works at the local level.”
Brownell, a former Clive mayor and councilman who was first elected to the board of supervisors in 2000, represents the county’s First District. It includes all of Clive, Urbandale, Johnston, Grimes, Granger, Polk City, parts of Windsor Heights and Saylor Township, and the northernmost townships of Alleman, Elkhart and Washington.
“Bob’s always been involved in metropolitan thinking. He doesn’t just think above Clive or his area. He’s more of a team player and he always looking at the bigger picture,” said state Sen. Brad Zaun, the former mayor of Urbandale. “He’s also a big watchdog of taxpayer money. I just know that he’s always going to fight for the average person and the people he represents because I’ve seen it time and time again.”
Brownell was among a small group of county officials who worked with state lawmakers to redesign Iowa’s mental health system and was the only county representative on the governor’s 2012 work group for property tax reform. He is chair of the E911 Board, serves on the Immigrant Welcome Center selection committee, Hunger Commission for Polk County, United Way Income Cabinet, OpportUNITY Committee at United Way, Dorothy’s House board of directors, Bravo Greater Des Moines Board, Des Moines Performing Arts Board, Greater Des Moines Partnership Executive Committee, Polk County Service Appeals Board (mental health and general assistance issues) and the Water Trails Advisory Council.
Brownell, a Cedar Rapids native, graduated from Kennedy High School in that eastern Iowa city after attending Missouri Military Academy. He earned undergraduate degrees in English and education at the University of Northern Iowa and has done post-graduate work at Drake University. He owns Diverse Resources Group, LLC, a Des Moines transportation and logistics consultancy.
Brownell and his wife, Jenna, have one son, Kevin, and one grandchild. Kevin and his wife, Maria, are Des Moines attorneys.