Joleen’s responses for local newspapers 10/11/18


Briefly tell readers about yourself (for example, where you live, family, education, career, and previous government or volunteer experience, leadership qualities including budget management and supervision of employees, and so on.)
My husband, Jim and I and our youngest child Jenna, a senior at Central, live south of Elkader near the Motor Mill. Our daughter Jessica is a teacher and our son Jacob attends Loras College.
For 20 years, I have ran Jansen Products, a web development & media transfer business. The majority of our clients are local businesses and organizations. I am also the program manager for the Clayton County Energy District, a non-profit organization dedicated to building community, by keeping energy clean, local and fair.
I am a Coe College and St. Luke’s School of Medical Technology graduate. I started my career in hospital labs, and later became a public servant working as the sanitarian for the City of Dubuque where I oversaw the food safety program and enforcement of public health ordinances. I also worked as the Winneshiek County Sanitarian and Zoning Administrator.
I served eleven years on the Central Community School Board; where I helped set student achievement goals, plan numerous capital improvement projects, monitored education legislation and oversaw a $7.5 million dollar annual budget. I also enjoy being a catechist at St. Joseph’s in Elkader. Over the years, I have had many opportunities to help organize various community projects.

What is your vision for Clayton County?
I am commitmented to serving as a Clayton County Supervisor because I believe we should serve what we love, and I love life in Clayton County. Clayton County’s rural small town life is something to behold,nurture and celebrate! As an optimistic county leader I would work to maintain a fiscally sound budget, while using the county’s financial resources for the good of everyone. I envision a responsive,respectful and caring county government wisely engaging the counties’ fiscal, physical, human and natural resources.
An efficient, safe and vast secondary road system is central to Clayton County’s agricultural and tourism industries, therefore it is essential to prioritize funding our county road department.
Protecting and enhancing the natural beauty of Clayton County and minimizing the devastation of flooding is a priority for most residents. I envision the advancement of sustainable farming practices to conserve our precious topsoil and protect our waters, and the limitation of floodplain development. I also support the Clayton Energy District’s vision to be using 100% local renewable energy by 2050.
To strengthen the middle class we must foster partnerships between communities, schools and workforce development groups which retrain residents, and train high school students with needed certified skills.

How will you use 21st Century skills to enhance your position as Supervisor?
As a web developer, promoter and energy district program manager I understand the efficiency of 21st century technologies. Most of my days are spent communicating with clients and peers though text messaging, email and social media. In today’s workplace communication is fast paced and information is processed quickly. I will use these 21st century skills to collaboratively solve problems, to stay informed and organized and to complete high quality and quantities of work.

What are your ideas for attracting and keeping young people in Clayton County?
I recently heard it said, “people don’t move to communities out of pity.” In general, people want to live where communities are strong and thriving. Strong, thriving communities play to their strengths and are welcoming. Clayton County’s landscape of bluffs and valleys, dotted with farmsteads, together with strong public schools, a vast farm to market road system, vibrant main streets,a growing tourism industry, and a network of quiet small towns with rivers running through them make our county a paradise on earth.
Since 2016, I have been a member of the Clayton County Comprehensive Plan steering committee. This process has identified our strengths and weaknesses. The developing plan will capitalize on the strengths and safeguard against potential threats. As a county leader I would adhere to this new strategic plan, knowing good plans lead to desired results. As a county leader I will work to build communities and attract new residents by playing to our strengths and remaining cognizant of our weaknesses.

How would you promote economic development and job creation while also preserving quality of life and natural resources? I know there is no silver bullet for long term prosperity. I will be informed and open minded about viable economic growth options considering those which are best for the common good. The new comprehensive plan will provide the framework to evaluate growth opportunities.
First, a clean energy transformation has enormous potential to responsibly grow the economy. Emphasizing energy efficiency and solar generation leads to positives for the local economy and the environment. This transformation will create a new clean energy job sector and energy savings will be reinvested into our communities.
Next, Clayton County needs more suitable housing. The county should promote compatible housing development so people who work in Clayton County have the best options to live in Clayton County.
Finally,we should also create a conducive environment for sustainable and diverse agriculture ventures and focus on what we can do to attract young farmers. Also, because of the unique beauty of this Driftless region, and our cultural and historical heritage, tourism is a natural way to grow our economy. We must capitalize on the fact Clayton County is a premier outdoor enthusiasts destination. I will alway support ways to grow the agriculture, clean energy and tourism sectors.

How would you use the Comprehensive Plan to inform your decisions?
As a new supervisor, I will prioritize implementation of the newly developed fresh comprehensive plan. This plan addresses the many aspects of life in Clayton County such as: resident well being, housing needs, public health, infrastructure, our rich agricultural tradition, natural resources, and importantly the county’s economic interests. This plan has been in the making since 2016 and comes from the grassroots. Through the hosting of public meetings, stakeholder focus groups, the conducting of statistical significant survey this professionally facilitated process has been of the people and will be for the people of Clayton County. The comprehensive plan will be the guiding, reference document county leaders will use to make short & long term priorities and decisions.