Candidate Class

By: News Release
Apr 17th, 2017

The Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Northeast Iowa Community College and Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission, are offering a candidate class on April 27, 2017 from 5:30 to 7pm at the NICC Wilder Center. Anyone interested in running for an elected office throughout the Northeast Iowa region is invited to attend.

New candidates will have the opportunity to gain valuable insight from people who have experience working with City Councils, Boards of Supervisors, and school boards. Guest presenters for the evening include Oelwein City Administrator, Dylan Mulfinger; Elkader City Administrator, Jennifer Cowsert; Cresco Mayor, Mark Bohle; South Winneshiek School Board, Jennifer Johnson; and Allamakee County Board of Supervisor, Larry Schellhammer. The class will address scope of work, budgeting, ethics, conflict of interest, and running an election. It will also be a chance to ask any questions potential candidates may have.

Being a community leader as an elected official is one of the most important jobs a person can hold,” Kristina Wiltgen, Executive Director for the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce said. “There are many facets to any elected position and our goal is to provide a better understanding of the job expectations before elections take place.”

Mulfinger, Oelwein City Administrator, feels that “having a council and staff that work well together is essential for a successful community. Council members need to be able to change their mind once they are provided with information. They must always ask for facts and request data in assisting in decision making. Making decisions based off of one’s gut or feelings is no longer ideal. At the end of the day the decision must be what is best for the community.” 

Once candidates get elected they are often times surprised by how things work.  They may come in with an agenda and then find that the reason things work the way they do is because of state/federal regulations or budget restraints, etc.  It can be an eye-opening experience for them,” according to Cowsert, Elkader City Administrator.   

Registration deadline is April 13, 2017. Anyone interested in attending can RSVP to Kristina Wiltgen at the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce, 1-563-382-3990, e-mail, or online at

The 2017 election schedule is as follows:


Election Date

Candidate Filing Period


September 12

July 10 - August 3

City Primary

October 10

August 14 - August 31

Regular City

November 7

August 28 - September 21