Student View: Kelly Shaw for Mayor

by Robert Lyons

Freshmen class president feels candidate Shaw can bridge gap between the college and Indianola

Election season is upon us!

On Nov. 5, citizens around the country will cast their votes to fill the various public offices of their communities. In Indianola, where many of the local offices of governance are hotly contested, arguably the most contested race is for the right to bear the title of mayor of Indianola.

In a small town graced by the presence of a small liberal arts college, the mayor holds a distinctly unique position where they determine the nature and spirit of the relationship between the college and the community.

Balancing between Simpson College and Indianola

In Indianola, the mayor has to balance the wishes of Simpson College with the needs of Indianola’s full time residents and citizens.

This balancing act is commonly known as the “town-gown relationship” and it requires an exceptionally gifted and well-qualified person to fill the position of mayor and maintain that delicate balance.

Candidate, and longtime resident, Kelly Shaw fits the bill.

With his remarkable credentials and extensive experience, he is more than capable of handling the balance of the “town-gown relationship” as the mayor of Indianola.

Shaw has been teaching political science at the college level for the last 20 years. Over the course of his 20 year career, Shaw has amassed a wealth of experience in engaging college students in the political process. Additionally, because of his involvement with the college level of education, he truly understands and comprehends the needs and desires of Simpson College and its students.

Yet his longtime residency within Indianola would allow him to balance those needs and desires of the college with those of the community. As mayor of Indianola, Professor Shaw would expand efforts to engage Simpson students in city issues and strengthen the bond of the “town-gown relationship.” 

As a resident of Indianola, Shaw has been actively involved in bettering the Indianola community through economic development. He has worked extensively with diverse interests, both domestically and internationally, in efforts to expand economic opportunities, broaden the tax base and bring about the development of new businesses and restaurants in Indianola.

Shaw’s emphasis on economic development will not only benefit the town and citizens of Indianola but will also benefit the college and students of Simpson.

Finally, because of Shaw’s position with the University of Iowa and as Director of the Des Moines Internship Program, he is very familiar with the advocacy process at the state level, and is able to work closely with agencies, the legislature and both parties in Des Moines. In this capacity, Shaw can help Simpson students network with policy makers, while also representing Indianola within state politics. 

Maintaining the delicate balance of the “town-gown relationship” is no easy task, but Shaw is just the person to do it. If anyone can keep the town of Indianola from stepping on the gown of Simpson, and keep the gown of Simpson from enveloping the town of Indianola, it is Kelly Shaw.