Teenage mayor leads first meeting - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Teenage mayor leads first meeting

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AREDALE (KWWL) -

A teenager will take the office of mayor on Monday and lead his first city council meeting in the Butler County town of Aredale.

Voters cast 24 write-in votes for 18-year-old Jeremy Minnier this past fall. It was enough to defeat incumbent mayor, 76-year-old Virgil Homer, who received eight votes.

That might seem like low voter turnout, but in Aredale, that's more than 40 percent of the town's residents. 

Minnier's first meeting will start Monday at 7 p.m. at city hall.

Aredale has a population of 74.  Minnier is a senior at Hampton-Dumont High School.

"There was a group of people that had an ad put in our local paper that just said to write me in on Nov. 8.  And I didn't really think much of it," Minnier said after winning in November.

So Minnier was surprised not just to win, but also that he got three times the votes of the sitting mayor.  And he hopes the community will continue to stand behind him, showing that even at 18, you can be a leader.

"A lot of people think 18 year olds are too young, you can't handle it.  You're not interested in that stuff.  Well, that's false.  There's a lot of kids, young adults that are interested in this stuff.  And we're the future," Minnier said.

In the small community of Aredale, there's not much to boast about.  There's a post office, a couple of bars, and a bank.  It's a place where you can literally walk down the middle of Main Street in the middle of the day.  But mayor-elect Minnier still thinks he can accomplish big things here.

"We have some things with the DNR and their septic problems with everybody needing leech fields or needing pods put in their property for their septic.  Another thing is rural water because we all have our own wells in Aredale.  And there's also things we can just improve the overall appearance of the city and make it a place people like to come to," Minnier said.

Then maybe the mayor-to-be can encourage other young people to consider staying in their home communities to keep small Iowa towns like Aredale alive.

By the way, Minnier's dad is a former Aredale mayor and city councilman.  The teen plans to continue living at home with his parents next year and commuting to college so he can take on the city's top job.

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