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An educator and a nurse is stepping into Waverly politics running for Ward 4.

Heather Beaufore, 41, says she is ready to represent the people in her ward.

Beaufore was the first to file for the seat, literally just hours before the closing deadline, but the incumbent, Mike Sherer, who had originally said he would not run for re-election, changed his mind in the 11th hour, fearing the seat might be left to write-ins if he were not to act.

The Ward 4 post was the first one to be announced open as Sherer wanted constituents to know of his plans as early as this summer, but candidates were slow to come forward.

All council and the mayoral races are contested in Waverly.

Beaufore said she stepped into what is a new territory for her because she loves to explore new frontiers.

“I love learning,” she said. “My life would be boring if I weren’t learning.”

Beaufore’s own education and her career in nursing illustrate that continued learning is part of her path.

In 2019, she earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Upper Iowa University. In the meantime, she also warned a minor in criminal justice. In 2003, she received an associate degree in nursing from Hawkeye Community College in 2003.

The 1997 Waverly-Shell Rock High School graduate now works for the Waterloo School District where she teaches nursing courses to high school students.

She has also worked at the emergency department at the Waverly hospital for 15 years where she still is on call. Prior to that she worked at Friends of the Family as an advocate for domestic assault survivors.

She says she was motivated to run because she feels the council should work better with the public.

“The relationship between the city, the city council, the citizens definitely needs a lot of healing,” she told Waverly Newspapers in a live interview on Friday. “There needs to be a lot of transparency, trust rebuilt. There is a big communication barrier right now. That’s what I want to bring back.”

Asked what specific issues need fixing, she reiterated that trust is her biggest concern.

“The City Council, they do not trust the community either or maybe they are not responding to the community appropriately,” she said. “I have seen people on City Council getting angry with citizens because they are bringing up their concerns and I don’t think anybody should get angry with citizens when they bring up a concern because they are bringing it up for a reason.”

She said her empathy and her listening skills, which she practices in nursing and teaching will help her, if she were to be elected. Beaufore said she doesn’t know what goes on behind the scenes in local governments, but she is eager to learn.

“People deserve to know what’s going on,” she said. “My passion is to teach others about what’s going on.”

Beaufore and her husband, Mike, have a blended family with three grown-up children and three school-aged kids.