URBANDALE, Iowa – Citing his desire to continue to focus on fiscal responsibility, quality of life issues and improvements to Polk County’s mental health delivery system, Supervisor Robert Brownell announced today that he seek re-election next year.
“Throughout my time in office, I’ve intentionally worked with a diverse range of groups and individuals to tackle the tough issues and get things done that benefit Polk County’s residents and taxpayers,” Brownell said before a group at Courage League Sports, which provides activities and sports for children and adults with disabilities. “My goal has always been to meet the public’s needs while following a fiscally conservative approach to government. I’ve delivered on that goal time and again and that’s what I’ll continue to do if re-elected next year.”
Brownell, a former Clive mayor and councilman, was first elected to the board of supervisors in 2000. His district includes Clive, Urbandale, Johnston, Grimes, Polk City and much of northern Polk County.
Brownell was among a small group of county officials who worked with state lawmakers to redesign Iowa’s mental health system and was the only county representative on the governor’s 2012 work group for property tax reform. He currently is chair of the E911 Board, co-chair of the Homeless Coordinating Council, and serves on the Hunger Commission for Polk County, United Way Income Cabinet, OpportUNITY Committee at United Way, Bravo Greater Des Moines Board, Des Moines Performing Arts Board, Greater Des Moines Partnership Executive Committee, Polk County Service Appeals Board (mental health and general assistance issues) and the Geriatric Psychiatry Committee.
To gain first-hand knowledge about the delivery of human services, Brownell posed as a homeless person and spent more than a week at the YMCA transitional housing facility. He also spent a night in a Des Moines homeless shelter, also posing as a homeless person. “When dealing with a complex problem, whether it’s homelessness or mental health reform, it’s important to understand the issue on as close to a gut level as possible. When policy makers take the time to make that effort, their outcomes are better for all parties involved,” he said.
Brownell is a native of Cedar Rapids, graduating from Kennedy High School after attending Missouri Military Academy. He received his undergraduate education at the University of Northern Iowa, earning degrees in English and education. He has done post-graduate work at Drake University.
He currently owns a successful consulting company, Diverse Resources Group LLC, which provides transportation and logistical counsel. Brownell and his wife, Jenna, have one son, Kevin, and one grandchild. Kevin and his wife, Maria, are both attorneys in Des Moines.
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