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City council candidate profile: Duane Bates

City council candidate profile: Duane Bates

Duane Bates wants to bring an approach of common sense decisions and fiscal responsibility to the Spencer City Council.

Bates is on the ballot seeking the Ward 4 city council position. He was born in Spencer and has lived here for almost 50 years. He’s currently the safety director at The Arnold Group of Companies.

“I’ll do the best I possibly can,” Bates promised if elected. “I’ll make the common sense decisions and be fiscally responsible. Those are my goals.”


Bates said his eagerness to serve and how much he cares for the community motivated him to run for election.

“I’ve always volunteered for other boards and other activities throughout the community and in the church,” he said.

He added that he’d like to contribute to the council and help the city continue recent successes.


To do that, Bates said he would make sure the city promotes Spencer’s quality of life and continues its track of financial stability.

“I believe we’ve done a lot of good things and I think we can continue to do more things because we’re fiscally on pace here to have some success here,” he said.

Bates said Spencer’s “small town living” environment and overall quality of life can be used to attract newcomers to town. He mentioned the hospital, schools, law enforcement, parks and trails as factors that benefit the quality of life in Spencer.


Spencer has done well promoting itself with the help of strategic partners, he said.

“I think the city’s done well because they have partnerships with the (Iowa Lakes) Corridor, with the county, with surrounding counties,” Bates said.

Bates noted that by promoting the city, Spencer and its partners can attract workers, including young people, to fill jobs in the community.


“We need to do what we can to promote those people to come back here, but we also have to do what we can to provide a work environment, too, that’s going to attract those folks here,” he said.

Bates also mentioned the supporting existing businesses as a way for Spencer to grow.

“We’re always trying or attempting to draw businesses into town,” he said. “My big thing here about business is we could take care of those that exist here now and potentially add two, three, four, five jobs and then you take that times their families, we’re talking about 20 or 25 people at some point in time that would come into our community.”


Bates is facing Donavon Wunschel for the Ward 4 seat. Current Ward 4 City Councilwoman Leann Jacobsen is not seeking reelection.

Here is who is on the ballot in other local elections. Voters head to the polls tomorrow.


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