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Godspeed, Mr. Goodspeed

Outgoing supervisor excited about post-political future

Sterling Goodspeed

Sterling Goodspeed

— “There have been developers who say, ‘It’s Johnsburg, we’re gonna roll right over them,’” Goodspeed said.

But as a councilman and a supervisor, he feels he was in a good position to insulate the community from the impact of the large project.

FrontStreet was a unique opportunity to enhance the tax base. It was also one of the best places to play capture-the-flag when Goodspeed was a kid, so there’s a sense of something lost. But gaining the interconnect was a proud moment for Goodspeed and a great step for skiing in Johnsburg.

The other big moment for Goodspeed was signing Iowa-Pacific Holdings to bring their rail operations to town. The contract ushered the return of the snow train with what Goodspeed called a superior operator who’s investing in the region and has changed the face of Main Street.

“Some time in the future, people will look back at the impact of the rail and mark it as a starting point for revitalization in the area,” he said.

Part of that pride is rooted in the difficulties of getting the train running again.

“Two years ago, if you said train, it was the poster child of bad government. The Post-Star called it a train to nowhere; I was really offended,” Goodspeed said.

At the county center, when he’d walk down the hall, he’d hear people behind him say, “choo-choo.”

But that test of being beat up day in and day out for the things he believed in was formative, and he and others helping bring the train to town were able to survive what Goodspeed called an endurance contest to re-open the rails.

Leaving office

“It was pretty weird getting up in the morning and not being the supervisor,” after four years, Goodspeed said.

He'd like to think that people were generally satisfied, that they feel Sterling was the right person to deal with FrontStreet, to finish the interconnect, to help find a good operator for the train.

“It’s hard to know what expectations are until you’re confronted with what the challenges are,” he said.

He remembered the first year he lowered taxes, somebody came to his office and pounded on his desk insisting he should raise taxes. Now that he doesn't have to worry about town business, he'll be working on his career as an adjunct at Newcomb Central instructing criminal justice classes.

“I’m not sure of all the future holds, but I think it’s really good.”

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