2023 City Council Candidates

Go Polk City is hosting a city council candidate forum on Tuesday, October 24th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Luana Savings Bank Community Room.

Go Polk City asked the five candidates running for city council to write a short introductory biography in advance of the October 24 city council candidate forum.  Below are the questions and responses.

1. An introduction, e.g., how long you've lived here, family (if you'd like), any contributions you've made or are making to the betterment of Polk City.
2. What issues you see as important and issues that are important to you.
3. What you would like people to know about you as a Polk City citizen running for this office.

If you have a question you would like asked, please submit your question HERE.

To watch the candidate forum live, click HERE.

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Jeff Savage

My name is Jeff Savage. Born and raised in Des Moines, I made Polk City my home in December 2015. Not long after settling in, I began attending City Council meetings when I could, which deepened my understanding of local matters and initiatives. This experience solidified my desire to actively engage with and serve the community. In the fall of 2021, I participated in the inaugural Citizens Academy to deepen my understanding of our city's operations. By January 2022, I had joined the Parks Commission. This year, I contributed to the downtown assessment and volunteered at events like the Four Seasons Festival, RAGBRAI, and Fall Fest. Additionally, I've recently become a board member for the Polk City Friends of the Parks and joined Go Polk City.

Based on feedback that I have received from members of the community and through my civic service to date, my platform is built upon four core tenets: Fiscal Responsibility, Commercial Development, Equity, and Quality of Life. Under the banner of Fiscal Responsibility, I am committed to maintaining balanced budgets, managing sustainable debt levels, and emphasizing long-term planning. By judiciously allocating tax funds, my goal is to improve our residents' overall well-being, health, and safety. Additionally, I aim to lessen the tax strain on our community through efficient resource utilization and operating with transparency. Turning to Commercial Development, enhancing our city's commercial sectors is pivotal. This development provides the services our residents desire, alleviates their tax burdens, and helps fund community-driven projects. Equity isn't merely a belief for me; it's an essential cornerstone for every city resident. It underpins the foundation of a just and flourishing community. I pledge to champion this cause relentlessly, ensuring that all citizens have equal and fair opportunities to thrive. Lastly, under Quality of Life, I highly regard the amenities that enrich our daily experiences, be it parks, recreational centers, or city beautification initiatives. I support well-planned and appropriately financed projects that nurture these amenities, fostering a vibrant, healthy, and joyful community.

Growing up in Des Moines has given me cherished memories of my time in and around Polk City before making it my home. Whether swimming, fishing, boating at Saylorville, or cycling on the Neal Smith Trail, each experience was special. As a young child, I distinctly remember often stopping at the local bait and tackle shop, watching old fishermen discuss the one that got away before setting off to Big Creek for a long day of fishing. The allure of our downtown square, combined with the town's unique charm, has always held a place in my heart. This deep connection made Polk City my inevitable choice for settling down. Since moving here in 2015, the warm interactions with so many residents have further intensified my commitment to contribute positively to our community. I am a proud Polk City citizen and would be honored to represent you on the City Council.

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Nick Otis

A little about me. I’m a 38-year-old father of two rambunctious boys. I’m a Research Scientist and have worked for the USDA for the last 12 years. My wife, Angie, is a Special Education Teacher with Ankeny High School. I have been involved with the North Polk United Soccer Club as a parent, a coach, and a referee. I am an avid motorcyclist, runner, cyclist, and hunter. Angie and I both grew up in Clear Lake, a town of 7,700 people in North Iowa. Polk City has that same, charming, small-town feel and we love it here.
I want to:
  • Help KEEP our property taxes low AND expand services by promoting business growth.
  • Be a voice for and to the community. Better at communicating what City government is doing and why. Better at listening to what the citizens want for their community.
  • Guide the completion of Trails projects that connect our neighborhoods and connect Polk City to surrounding communities.
  • See the completion of the Regional Park project. A park for ALL the people of Polk City, in addition to new sports facilities.
  • Be a responsible, thoughtful voice on how the City spends your tax dollars to provide services and improve infrastructure.

Polk City is an incredible, rapidly developing town and I’m here to do the work to shape this community and meet its citizens’ needs. The quality of life in our little town is fantastic and I want to keep it that way as we continue to grow.  My family moved to Polk City in 2015 when we were expecting our second child. I have been involved with the City government since 2016. I first served as a representative of the Woodhaven/Tyler neighborhood with the Neighborhood Citizens Group. We achieved some success in communicating to the public the actions and directions of the City Council. In 2020, I joined the Parks Commission. I have since worked to improve the quality of and amenities in Polk City’s public spaces, including work on the Community Visioning project and design of the Regional Park project. I am also a member of the Arbor League and have worked to care for our City’s canopy.
Jesse gutierres

Jesse Gutierres

My Fellow Polk City Brothers and Sisters, I am Jesse Gutierres, I love Polk City! That is why our family chose this place about 11 years ago. The God has blessed my wife (Josselin) and I with three children: Alexander, Isabella, and Rodrigo (Hank). The wonderful people of this city have positively impacted our lives and have embraced us with love.

Background & Contributions:
  • Proud Desert Storm Combat Veteran.
  • BSBA in Economics, University of Tulsa
  • MBA, Southern Nazarene University
  • Polk City American Legion Member
  • Small Business Owner
  • Polk City Taxpayer
  • Blessed Father and Husband

There are several issues that I would like to push for:
  • Economic growth, using actual economic principles, not just lip service and hope
  • Responsible city growth with a 5 year, 10 year, and 20 year vision.
  • Updating current infrastructure to consider the resident citizen, business, and safety
  • Polk City should incentivize business to grow
  • Polk City should have a golden rule attitude toward its constituency
  • Polk City should be better on communication, it cannot only depend on the internet to get its message out
  • Polk City must not overextend itself financially
  • Polk City must assess and prepare for future emergencies and update
  • Polk City should seek home grown expertise to aid in future projects
  • The City Council should let attendees speak to the council without prior approval (new information can be revealed during the council meeting that attendees should be able to add perspective to)

​​​​​​​Polk City is truly a treasure in this county and state. We have unlimited possibilities just waiting to be showcased. Please vote for me for city council in Polk City. It would be my honor to serve you and be the decerning voice of those whom I represent.
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Rob Sarchet

My name is Rob Sarchet and am running for re-election to city council. I have lived in Polk City since 2003, I am married to Laura and we have three daughters Hannah, Molly and Maggie.  My community involvement started with the fire department where I was an EMT/Firefighter also serving as a Lieutenant, Captain, and Treasurer of the Firefighters Association. I have also been on the planning committee for the Four Seasons Festival, was a participant in the Community Visioning effort and am a member of the Polk City Arbor League. I served two years on the Planning and Zoning Commission and then was appointed to city council in 2014 and subsequently elected in 2015 and 2019. I am employed with Wells Fargo and our family are members at Lakeside Fellowship.
I got involved with city activities after appreciating what a wonderful community we have and wanted to be an example for my girls demonstrating all the benefits of establishing roots in a community. My priorities are:

1 - Growing up on a farm outside of a very small town it is important to me to maintain the small town feel and identity we have despite our proximity to the larger metro area. Encouraging volunteer led activities celebrating our town is a good option to keep people connected and highlight the businesses and amenities we love.

2 - Cost of living is also a priority. The city is a recipient of roughly one quarter of property taxes paid as well as the operator of our utilities it is vital to appropriately manage those funds.  We are in the process of a couple capital investments to make sure that our operations can continue, and I will remain focused  on making the associated costs as low as possible.

3 - Finally, a priority is economic development, both in helping equip existing businesses to succeed as well recruit new commercial entities. The city square is a uniquely beautiful centerpiece for the town and needs to have thriving businesses surrounding it.

The final thing I would like people to know about me is that I value honesty and transparency. I have always tried to thoroughly respond to any questions or thoughts provided on any city related topics and am happy to discuss whenever available. My personal email is robertpsarchet@gmail.com and would love to talk. Thank you.

David Dvorak

Hello, Polk City residents! I'm Dave Dvorak, and I'm running for re-election to continue serving you on our City Council. My wife Mona and I moved to Polk City in 1998 and raised our children, Lexi and David, enjoying the close-knit community our town provides. Over the past 16 years, I have served several terms on the personnel and finance committees, and as a liaison for Planning and Zoning and Parks Commissions. With several years of experience in technology consulting, I bring a wealth of knowledge and innovative solutions to our city’s challenges.
My faith, which guides me in the “do the right thing mentality”, has led me to serve the underprivileged in Jamaica and Nigeria through mission trips and to be an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope. I grew up in a rural farming community and understand the importance of maintaining Polk City's small-town charm.
My decision-making process is deeply rooted in objectivity, and aligns with the insights I’ve gathered from you, the taxpayers, over the years.
I will continue to safeguard Polk City’s unique identity, foster smart growth, transparency, and while controlling costs to ensure minimum impact to taxpayers.

Current Priorities:
  • Essential Services: Upholding public safety through our Police, Fire, EMS, and infrastructure remains my top priority. By endorsing “smart growth” residentially, supporting existing businesses, and welcoming new ones, we can mitigate future tax hikes without compromising these vital services. Achieving this requires unified efforts from our city, businesses, and residents toward a shared objective.
  • Necessary Services: Empowering and incentivizing our businesses to maximize current resources is pivotal. A cohesive business community, sharing unified values and priorities, not only strengthens our existing business landscape but also attracts new ventures, ensuring the growth of Polk City’s business community.
  • Quality of Life Services: Over the past decade, our focus on enhancing recreational and programming services for all ages has remained steadfast. Key projects like the Regional Park, High Tressel Trail connector, and ensuring ample green spaces and programs for both young and elderly citizens underscore our commitment to a vibrant community life.
  • Controlling Costs: I am committed to making fiscally prudent decisions, maximizing transparency, and ensuring minimal impact on Polk City taxpayers.

Who am I as Your Candidate?
Guided by a moral and ethical compass, I make decisions based on collective benefit, not to appease specific groups or fulfill any hidden agendas—I simply don’t have one. My commitment to openness, authenticity, and a willingness to listen ensures that your voices are always heard and considered in every decision made.
I humbly ask for your vote, requesting you to consider my experience, passion, and steadfast commitment to ethical governance. Representing you has been an honor, and I am always here for further discussion via email or a call/text to my personal cell at (515) 979-6502. Thank you in advance for your support!