At the Candidate Forum for Indianola City Council, there was a question about whether there were any conflicts of interest by any of the candidates. Candidate Heather Hulen said she would recuse herself from any vote dealing with the YMCA, where she is the Executive Manager.

But City Manager Ryan Waller is the President of the YMCA Board of Managers. Wouldn’t he be considered Hulen’s boss?

And if Hulen were elected to the City Council she would be responsible for prescribing her boss’s “powers, duties, compensation and term of office” as City Manager (City Code 17.05).

Waller is Hulen’s boss at the YMCA, and she would be his boss for the City of Indianola. We have a double conflict of interest here.

In addition, on August 30th YMCA of Greater Des Moines CEO Leisha Barcus “told Indianola residents they have one year to resolve the Indianola YMCA's financial troubles or the facility also could close.” This means that the Indianola City council will be making some difficult choices in terms of finances and the Indianola YMCA. In this important matter we need the involvement of every city council member to decide what is best for the community of Indianola. It does the people of Indianola no good when a city council candidate states that she will recuse herself from this important issue if elected.

I urge you to vote on November 5th and re-elect City Council member Shirley Clark, an independent voice for the people of Indianola.

Steve Kirby


(1) comment


There seems to be confusion regarding my employment at the Indianola YMCA. The YMCA of Greater Des Moines and the City of Indianola have a 28E agreement defining the roles of the YMCA of Greater Des Moines and the City of Indianola.

Ryan Waller (Indianola City Manager) is not my boss. I do not report to Ryan Waller. Ryan does serve as Chairperson on the Indianola YMCA ADVISORY Board, as appointed by the city council just as the previous City Manager since 2013 when the Y opened; the position is city council appointed and could be filled by anyone the city councils appoints. The Advisory Board is not a Governing Board. I report to Eric Kress, District Executive Director of the YMCA of Greater Des Moines. Eric is my boss, I answer to Eric and my employer is the YMCA of Greater Des Moines on my pay stubs and W-2.

Leisha Barcus, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Association has asked the City of Indianola to consider a rent reduction and to revisit the 28E agreement. The current city council unanimously (6-0) supported revisiting the 28E agreement. I am not a part of that process, those discussion or decisions as the Executive Director. My role is to manage and operate the Indianola YMCA. As a member of the Indianola City Council, I will recuse myself from discussions and abstain from voting on any matters related to the YMCA. Also noting that a vast majority of the councils topics/decisions are not YMCA related.

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

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