Public Service: An Opportunity, Not a Burden

May 5, 2013

I entered public service under unorthodox circumstances, after a tragedy hit in my hometown of Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

In 1986, a disgruntled citizen entered a public meeting in Mount Pleasant and fatally shot our mayor. Two city council members were seriously wounded in that attack. Soon after, I was asked by the mayor’s father to consider running to finish his term.

At the time, my two young boys were worried about the possibility of their father entering public service. Following the tragedy in our town, they were worried that public service is something that hurts you. A big reason I took that first job was to show my boys that public service is a wonderful opportunity to help — not a burden to be feared.

I believed then, as I do now, that we have a unique opportunity as public servants to achieve great things.

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