Chris Watts, District 1 Cerro Gordo County Supervisor
Chris Watts seeks final term on board of supervisors in 2024 elections.
Chris Watts announced on January 8, 2024, that he will seek his third and final term as a County Supervisor in Cerro Gordo County. Watts was first elected as County Supervisor in 2016 on the platform of “Promises Made, Promises Kept”. The following are promises kept by Watts during his tenure as County Supervisor:
Watts stated that his largest accomplishment has been focusing on Cerro Gordo County’s deteriorating infrastructure and continued by saying, “If the infrastructure isn’t there, you have nothing to build on in the future”. Building the foundation, by first addressing the condition of gravel and hard surface roads, bridges, and drainage systems throughout the county.
Collaborating with all County communities on projects and issues such as Dougherty, with their new roads and sidewalks and Thornton with the new bridges and road/drainage improvements.
A large focus has been on the North Iowa Events Center and aiding in improvements for the future. A lot of remodel, drainage and a new building going up here in the spring with American Rescue plan funds also.
This progress was spurred seven years ago by a vision fostered by board members Watts, Latham and Callanan. In alignment with Watts’ goal to improve infrastructure, the board started within the Cerro Gordo County Secondary Roads Department via equipment updates and a new maintenance/office facility located next to the Law Enforcement Facility. A new structure was also built in Ventura to better service the NW corner of the county. In addition to a new building in Thornton, construction is underway within Mason City to replace the dilapidated building located on North Illinois Avenue. The Supervisors are also working with the Conservation Board to centralize their operations near Lime Creek, expected to break ground this Spring.
Capital improvements were just a part of the boards plan, And to accomplish this, they used the proceeds from sales of previous real estate locations to assist in funding new projects and also placing the properties back on the tax rolls, generating more funds for the county in the future. The Board also utilized the American Rescue Plan funding during and post-pandemic to finance much of the cost, all while lowering the taxpayers share of the tax levy six out of the last seven years.
Watts also focused on saving county funds and reducing county debt during his time serving the community. This included: reviewing and modifying county employee health and retirement benefits, updating/digitizing county records for better citizen access, new secure election equipment, restructuring the loan on the Cerro Gordo Law Enforcement center with a local lender and partnering with Central Iowa Community Services to expand Mental Health services to county residents while decreasing the active role of the county.
In keeping with the theme of community service, the Board completed the South Shore trails and construction on the continuation of the Prairie Land Trail system into Wright County, which when completed, will span Cerro Gordo and Wright Counties, while tying into the existing Mason City trail system.
In an effort to bolster the county’s financial standing, Supervisors Watts, Latham and Callanan refused pay raises over the last seven years. Watts stated, “I knew what this job paid when I ran for office and I never took it for political gain or to line my own pockets. I ran on a promise to improve our county. I feel like we have done that and would ask the voters to allow me a final term to finish what we have started for the future of Cerro Gordo County. I have walked and knocked on every door in my district, 5 times, to hear the concerns of our neighbors and take action to address them.”
Watts is running as a Republican in the 2024 election, but wants to remind voters that it should not be about party affiliation on the county level, but rather, who keeps their promises to consider what is best for the future growth of Cerro Gordo County.
Watts resides at 121-Granada Drive and has lived in Mason City for the last 42 years where he and his wife, Pam, raised their four children: William, Kassie, Alyssa and Kory. They also enjoy entertaining their four granddaughters.
Watts is currently employed with Reinhart Foodservice/Performance Foods where he has been assisting the Hospitality Industry with their needs for the last 34 years.
Announcement after 2022 Election:
I wish to thank all of my supporters in for helping us secure this huge win in the 2022 election. Thank you for being so kind at the doors and your many text messages and phone calls of support for the work this Board of Supervisors has accomplished.
I feel truly blessed to represent you.
Our campaign for the 2022 election continued after our overwhelming victory in the June 2022 primary, amassing 67% of the votes cast against my opponent. When elected, my intention is to serve all citizens, regardless of party affiliation, equally as I have since I took office on January 1, 2017.
After our successful campaign and election on November 8, 2016, I remained in touch with the citizens of Cerro Gordo county throughout my time in office. I welcome you here and your feedback at all times.
The Board of Supervisors is an elective office with a four-year term. The Board follows the Plan Three supervisor district representation plan as defined in Chapter 331.206 of the Code of Iowa. Supervisors are elected from single-member equal-population districts, in which the electors of each district shall elect one member who must reside in that district.
The Board of Supervisors holds its organizational meeting on the first day in January which is not a Saturday, Sunday or holiday. Regular sessions of the Board of Supervisors are held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday mornings. The duties of the Board of Supervisors can be found throughout Chapter 331 in the Code of Iowa.