Get to know who's running for the Woodward City Council and where they stand on the issues

Allison Ullmann
Perry Chief

Four individuals will appear on the ballot for the Woodward City Council.

Four candidates, including two incumbents, are running for three open seats on the city council.

The election is Nov. 2. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Editor's note: Candidates' responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Who's running for the Woodward City Council?

Steven Godwin

Steve Godwin

Age: 59

Office sought: City council

Where they grew up: Born in northern Iowa and raised in central Iowa

Where they currently live: Woodward, Iowa

Past political experience: Served the citizens of Woodward on the city council in 1994-1995 being elected via a special election from a sudden resignation. I took a different job at the end of 1995 that took me away from the community except for at night which would not allow me to appropriately represent the community so I did not seek reelection.

James Gough (incumbent)

James Gough

Age: 60

Office sought: City council

Where they grew up: Woodward, Iowa

Where they currently live: Life-long resident of the Woodward area. Married to my wife Carolyn for over 30 years and raised 5 children who graduated from the Woodward-Granger School system.

Past political experience: Retired from the State of Iowa after 38 years of service. Served on the Woodward Library Board for 6 years. Currently a City Council member and running for reelection.

Ashvin J Patel (incumbent)

Ashvin Patel

Age: 64

Office sought: Woodward City Council

Where they grew up: I was born in Kampala, Uganda, and grew up in India. I earned a degree in Pharmacy before moving to the United States. I spent a few years living in Chicago, Illinois, before moving to Woodward in 1986. Since 1986 I and my wife Varsha Patel have been the owner of AJ's Grocery serving the Woodward community.

Where they currently live: My wife and I live in Woodward and have two children, Sejal (Erie, Colorado) and Sumit (Waukee, Iowa)

Past political experience: Served 5 terms as a Woodward City Council Member including as Mayor Pro Tem (one term); Executive Board Member of Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of Iowa. 

Twila Sprott

Twila Sprott

Age: 44

Office sought: Woodward City Council 

Where they grew up: Midvale, Utah

Where they currently live: Woodward, Iowa

Past political experience: This is the first elected office I have run for. I have been a volunteer member of and currently the Chairperson for Woodward's Planning and Zoning Commission, I have served on this commission for over 6 years.

What are Woodward City Council candidates' top issue this election?

Steven Godwin

Fiscal responsibility/accountability and fair and equitable treatment for each and every citizen. This community is going to be experiencing exciting changes and needs a bold and innovative leader that is not afraid to do things different or step outside the box. I would like the opportunity to be a part of that change and growth.

James Gough

Declined to comment.

Ashvin J Patel

Revitalize the Local Economy by Embracing Local Business. It is imperative for our community to embrace local business. As a business owner, I know firsthand of the importance that the community plays in our local economy. Woodward is a wonderful place to live and raise a family, that was shown when the community and local businesses bounded together to assist my family to rebuild our store from a devastating electrical fire in 1998.We also cannot overlook the future developments that are being discussed for our community, these developments can provide our community with an amazing opportunity to strengthen our community. We have a great School District.

Twila Sprott

Growth for Woodward is an issue that I consider of critical importance, for many years we have faced increased costs and debts as a city to upgrade our infrastructure (for example, new water plant, new streets, sewer and lagoon linings). Thankfully these were all done with a mind towards the future so as they were upgraded they also were expanded to allow for growth. Unfortunately, this has come as a large cost and has been passed off to consumers. Growth will allow our city to increase its tax base and allow for pay down/off of the debts incurred; in turn giving relief to the citizens of Woodward.

What should the Woodward City Council do to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Iowa?

Steven Godwin

Specifically follow all recommendations of the CDC and the IDPH related to the pandemic.

James Gough

Declined to comment.

Ashvin J Patel

Elected officials should continue to encourage following the CDC guidelines to safely protect one another from the Virus.

Twila Sprott

Woodward should continue to work with residents to make them aware of programs available to them while going through this pandemic and any hardship. Programs like the LIHWAP (Low Income Household Water Assistance Program) that the city of Woodward just signed a contract to accept payments from when residents apply for assistance in the last city council meeting. Just like many of the other hardships such as Tornadoes and Derecho that Woodward has faced, our town pulls together to support each other and our Council is the leadership that does and will continue to encourage this unity and support.