About Bob

About Bob

Robert Brownell, who balances his dedication to fiscal responsibility with a commitment to serve those who truly need a leg up, is seeking his sixth term as a Polk County Supervisor.

One of his guiding principles since his first day in public office has been to ensure that tax dollars are used efficiently and effectively while directed at the right priorities. That’s a core value that’s never going to change as long as the residents of Polk County put their trust in Bob to make the right decisions about their tax dollars.

Bob has always put constituents first because he believes that he has a responsibility to improve the quality of life across the entire county. He is a respected voice in central Iowa, who leads on the big-picture issues that benefit individuals well beyond the boundaries of his district.

During the past four years, he has dedicated his time and energy to the development of the Urbandale Miracle League baseball field, which caters to young children between the ages of five and eighteen who are unable to play in mainstream baseball leagues due to a disability. The Urbandale Miracle League baseball field also includes opportunities for adults with disabilities as well.

His other priorities have included:

  • developing a public/private partnership to deliver full-time primary health care at the Central Iowa Homeless Shelter;
  • securing financial support for 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.

A former Clive mayor and councilman who was first elected to the board of supervisors in 2000, Bob represents the county’s First District. The First District 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 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.

A Cedar Rapids native who graduated from Kennedy High School after attending the Missouri Military Academy, Bob earned undergraduate degrees in English and education at the University of Northern Iowa and has done post-graduate work at Drake University. In addition to his public role, he owns Diverse Resources Group, LLC, a Des Moines transportation and logistics consultancy. He has also held management positions at Roadway Express and Yellow Transportation.

Bob and his wife, Jenna, have one son, Kevin, and two grandchildren. Kevin and his wife, Maria, are Des Moines attorneys.

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