Lauris Olson*forStory County Supervisor

* independent (no party)

 Website Paid for by Lauris Olson for Supervisor. Susan Francis, Treasurer

     Hello, I am Lauris Olson.

      I am asking you to elect me to the Story County Board of Supervisors on Nov. 4.    

     We are our county government - You, I, your neighbor and the approximately 92,000 other people who live in Story County, Iowa. But many of us don’t know much about it, especially the county board of supervisors, or spend time thinking about it.

 I invite you to learn more by using this website, my video blog, my electronic newsletter and my social media updates as well as the links embedded throughout this site. I hope your new knowledge will lead you to share my conviction that it is time to mold Story County and the Story County Board of Supervisors into an entity that truly embraces PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT, BEST PRACTICES and a 21st CENTURY VISION.  

     And I hope you will become convinced that I am your best choice to lead the effort. 

Thank you in advance for your time, your attention and your vote.



Cost for my opponents to be the top two vote-getters and become new supervisors in 2010

My goal - Rely on grassroots, person-to-person connections and expenditures of less than $15,000 to win, underscoring my stance that supervisors should be part-time public servants, not career politicians, and the cost of winning the honor should reflect that public service status.

Iowa Campaign Disclosure Reports for cash & in-kind donations for Paul Toot- D ($24,103.51) and Rick Sanders- R ($21,284.96) filed with Iowa Iowa Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board in 2010, 2011 & 2012 

(10.19.14) Diabetes affected the feeling in my feet this more than I expected this year. Door-knocking wasn't possible for me personally and my volunteers weren't available to fill in. While phone calling is part of my campaign, a lot of people quit picking up their phone once everyone else's campaign also ramped up. So in mid-October, my husband and I decided I would need to use a direct-mail campaign - over $12,000 to send information to almost every home and PO Box in the county. My budget is now set to be comparable with what the two incumbents each spent in 2010 - in the low 20,000's.


Combined number of votes the incumbents received to become supervisors in 2010

My goal - 24,000 votes, earning the support of not only independents but many partisan-inclined voters, reinforcing the idea that citizens shouldn't need a political party affiliation to be able to serve as a local elected official.

*Paul Toot- D (16,123), Rick Sanders -R (15,580). Non-winning candidates: Lucy Martin -D (13,333), Jason V. Covey - R (10,976)

(10.19.14) One of my opponents recently pointed out to me how unrealistic my goal of 24,000 votes was "considering that [former Story County Supervisor] Jane Halliburton only got 17,000 at the most in one of her elections."   

I knew it was a very ambitious goal when I set it last spring. But it was possible, given there were only three candidates - one Democrat, one Republican and me, the independent - at that time and there were two seats open. The 11th hour addition of an ISU student via a Republican Special Nominating Convention certainly shifted the dynamics due to Iowa's straight ticket voting option. 

Now my goal is one more than any other of the candidates - certainly an achievable goal.

Numbers to Think About

The Campaign

Home Page

  • Thank you*
  • The Campaign - Numbers to Keep in Mind 


  • Not so seriously ...

Contact & Donate

Platform & Issues

  • Budget - Revenue & Expense Goals
  • Not every CAFO app deserves a recommendation
  • More content to be posted 

   21st Century Vision

  •  Focused on citizen-driven budgeting, procedures, programs *
  • More content to be posted

             5 Supervisors & Professional Management

   Public Involvement   

 Making advisory groups exclusive & the meetings private More content to be posted

     Best Practices

  • The $150,000, Conflict-of-Interest Proposal
  • Holiday Processing of a CAFO Application
  • The No Name, No Amount Settlement Motion 

...and More

      In the Media (news coverage, endorsements, forum links)

​                'Connection' expectation a one-way street. *

      Upcoming Events 

      Video Blog

  • Story County Supervisors 101

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You can register and vote at your polling place on Nov. 4.

Click here to go to the Story County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections website

Table of Contents

11.05.14 (8 a.m.)

​* new, edited or updated content on 11.5.14

Public Involvement.Best Practices.21st Century Vision.

I am
Focused on citizen-driven budgeting, procedures and programs. Committed to streamlining access and increasing the use of technology. Dedicated to creating affordable housing and public transportation countywide. Motivated to replace the 3 “fulltime” supervisors with 5 “part-time” ones and hire a professional manager.

$ 66,052
Annual salary for each member of the current three-member board of supervisors

Story County is the state's 9th largest county by population. Story County Supervisors' salaries are the 3rd highest in the state.

My immediate goal - Apply my substantial understanding of local governments and experiences as a manager and leader to continuously improve day-to-day operations and the delivery of county services.Visit the About page to learn more about me.

My long-term goals -  1) Transition day-to-day oversight of operations and services to a professional manager, redirecting most of the $200,000 combined supervisors’ salaries to the manager and dividing the remainder among the supervisors. 2) Increase the number of supervisors to five, elected by district. Visit the 5 Supervisors & Professional Management page to learn more.  

Thank you..

(11.5.14) I am so grateful for those who took the time to fill in the oval next to my name. Thank you so much for believing in me and my desire to bring more public involvement, the use of best practices and innovation to Story County government.

 I lost. And not just by a little, but by a lot. I finished last in a four-way race with only 9 percent of the votes. The majority of the voters put their support behind the incumbents. As is traditional, I congratulate them.

We all know there are many factors affecting the outcome of elections. Some of those are completely out of our control. Others offer us at least the illusion of being subject to our influence. But we all had full choice over our decision to run. I am glad that I ran, proud of my platform and overall, pleased with the effort I put forth. 

I knew from the beginning that my decision to run as an independent made me the statistical underdog. But with two seats on the ballot and only three candidates in the race until 10 weeks before the election, I, and many others, saw the possibility that I could take one of the seats. That possibility virtually disappeared after the Republicans entered a second candidate in the race via a special nominating convention,- an ISU student with no prior known interest or expertise in Story County government. The reach of our political system's two domineering political parties and the convenience of straight party voting on the Iowa ballot is mighty. I understand why many with differing thoughts and ideas decide it is too difficult and sometimes pointless to enter the fray.

I've already been asked "What next?" Long-term, I haven't decided. For the next few weeks, I am going to get some medical procedures done that I put off during the campaign, focus on the holidays and get ready to lobby for better animal protection laws down in Des Moines.

Again thank you.