Get to know Joel:
Joel, 37, was born and raised in Osceola in small family business and farming.
He and his wife, Heather, have four children (ages 9, 8, and 3 and 1). They live in rural Clarke County where
they own two small businesses. He is president of TEAM Restoration Ministries and serves as an expert consultant
for healthcare issues related to hospice and end of life care. Joel has served the public through foster
parenting, serving on his church leadership board, and has been instrumental on boards of directors and
committees for various local and national hospice programs. Joel holds a Bachelor of Arts from Simpson College in
Indianola, Iowa and a Master of Social Work from the University of Iowa School of Social Work.
My Pledge to you:
I am listening to you. Since announcing my campaign I have been speaking with
constituents from Clarke, Decatur, Lucas and Wayne counties. It has been amazing to hear how people in all four
counties are concerned about similar issues, many of which are close to my heart as well. The issues consist of
both moral and economic changes. The following are some of the concerns that have been expressed by citizens
throughout all three counties.
Never before in America's history has there been a greater time for citizens to stand up and fight for their
constitutional rights. Rights such as bearing fire arms, owning property, parental rights, and freedom of speech
and religion are under attack. As citizens of a free country, we must stand up and abide by the Constitution of
the United States. I will fight to uphold those basic rights of the Iowa Constitution to their fullest.
I was raised in small family business and farming. I understand the need for less bureaucracy and taxation. I
support a reduction in property taxes that will ultimately fuel business and create more job opportunities. Stimulating
an environment where entrepreneurial business can begin is critical to the rural way of life as well as returning
Iowa's sons and daughters back to their native homes.
In my experience as an adjunct college professor I have noticed the best students in the classroom come from an
educational system in which the educators are able to meet the individual needs of each student. This is not achieved
by federal government increasing their involvement and mandates on Iowa teachers. We have some of the best teachers in
the nation and it is time to allow them to excel at what they do best - teaching the next generation.
Local school systems are also responsible to the tax payers from whom they receive their funding. Full reporting
from school systems that is accurate and honest is an essential to high quality education. More than ever in our state's
history, teachers are facing less time teaching and more time with paperwork. School administrators and boards are
struggling to find ways to maintain budgets and save extracurricular and fine arts programs. School systems are being
forced to raise property taxes because government officials are reducing state funds. It is time to remove barriers of
government that are eroding the education for the next generation.
Every family deserves the choice of how best to meet the educational needs of their children. Many families are
unable to choose to place their children in private or home school programs due to financial constraints. I will help
create programs that allow parents the choice of how to educate their children. These options should be available to
all citizens regardless of economic status.
Overwhelmingly, constituents everywhere raise intense frustration over the Iowa Supreme Court stripping Iowans of our
constitutional right to vote on the definition of marriage. I am committed to standing firm on allowing the citizens
of the state to vote on this issue. Attempting to pacify the voter with verbal rhetoric and no action is inappropriate
in political decision making. It is time for leaders to stand on their word and moral compass. I believe that marriage
is defined as a union between one man and one woman and I will work to uphold that union.
Integrity in governmental leadership seems to be slipping further away. I have been taught by my grandfathers and my
father that one's word is as good as a legal binding contract. Therefore, you will not experience me pretending to be
someone different in Des Moines than I am at home. Iowans deserve a leader that will represent them fairly while
listening and engaging them in conversation.
As a business owner and leader in healthcare, I understand the need to manage finances conservatively. I believe
that a more stable economy means a more stable home life for all Iowans. The current economic conditions have affected
all households which ultimately caused us all to review our household budget. In that review each family has to make
decisions where they will choose to continue spending their income. The same must be true for government. In order to
create a stronger more stable economy for Iowa households, state government must begin to look at their checkbook the
same way Iowa citizens had been forced to control spending. Government should not spend more than it takes in and one
time money is not the answer to balance a long term budget. One time cuts across the board does not cut waist or create
stronger fiscally responsible government.
Rights of the Unborn
The rights of the unborn must be protected. I am against stem cell research, human cloning, and abortion.
I am learning from you through face to face conversations. True relationship can only be built by direct contact with the
opportunity to work through questions and differences face to face. I practice this belief on a daily basis in my therapy
room and see the healing power of truth consistently build trust. Just as solutions for growth and change don't rest only with
the therapist, neither do they rest only with the elected official. Solutions rest among those who see the need for adjustments
and have the desire to lead through transitions and opportunities for change. Therefore the leader becomes the conduit on which
expertise and solutions from you, the citizen, can be deposited for future reference. I desire to hear from you about your
creative ideas for positive change and growth from all aspects of our communities.
I am leading for you in multiple ways. My leadership through church, family, professional, and civic opportunities
is defined by trust. Trust that I will keep my word over time and follow moral convictions that outlast pressure and expectations
of conformity for the sake of conformity. Right is right and wrong is wrong. I learned long ago from important leaders in my family
that one of the only things no one can strip from you is your integrity. Therefore, integrity in leadership is a value that I hold
in high esteem and believe to be at the core of an outstanding trustable leader. I will strive each and every day to uphold that
commitment to leadership. I believe in the concept of servant leadership and as a public servant it is my job to be the voice of
those I serve - you the citizen. It is my commitment to lead in a manner that you will feel served and honestly communicated to.
I lead with accountability, humility, and transparency.