Ankeny ready to continue county’s momentum

Published 6:46 pm Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Mower County Board of Commissioner of the Fifth District, Mike Ankeny, is making another run for the seat and will be doing so unopposed.

Ankeny began his time on the board in 2010, when he took over the remaining two years following the death of David Tollefson.

One of the longest tenured members of the board, Ankeny brings a lot of experience to the seat.

“I’ve just thoroughly enjoyed doing it,” Ankeny said. “I feel like I’m more on top of things that are going on in the county and the community. There’s something new all of the time. I’m pretty proud of what we’ve  accomplished with the staff and the leadership. They’re doing a great job.”

Ankeny said his approach to work on the board has been based on common sense and with the best interests of constituents and the county in mind.

“I vote the way I feel everyone would benefit from it,” Ankeny said. “It’s not personal or anything like that. I try to vote the way I feel is the right way to go. If I get shot down, life goes on.”

In the over 10 years he has been on the board, Ankeny said has seen a development of leadership within the county itself, which he sees as a benefit worth cultivating.

Being able to put people into leadership roles from within the county structure has allowed it to fill positions with a certain level of flexibility without having to go outside of the county for quality staff in a challenging hiring environment.

“I think we’ve just done a lot of good things as far as our positions and getting people into leadership roles and working with them,” Ankeny said. “We’re doing really well in succession planning and really working with the different department heads that may be retiring to actually have staff that can step into those positions. That’s huge.”

Ankeny said that in order to keep this positive trend going, along with the other good work the county’s been doing, it’s just a matter of staying the course and continuing to do those things that have allowed the county to run smoothly.

“It’s just the continuation of what we’re doing,” Ankeny said. “I really feel we are doing a good job. We’re always in conversation with things we can improve on. We don’t have any real big problems.”

Part of that smooth operation is how well the board works with each other, Ankeny said.

“We’ve got a really good board,” he said. “We’re really supportive of each other. We can sit down and visit about things when we do our work sessions.”