DART is very sad to announce that Altoona Mayor Josiah “Skip” Conkling lost his battle with cancer on Saturday, June 10, 2017. Conkling was a longtime friend of local transit, having served on the Board of Commissioners since DART was formed in 2006. He represented DART’s first district, which included portions of Polk County and the cities of Altoona, Bondurant, Elkhart, Mitchellville, Runnells and portions of Des Moines.
Conkling was an advocate for transit, and served as a leader for DART through many accomplishments, including the formation of DART, the building of DART Central Station, the introduction of new routes and expanded services and more. He also served as Chair of the DART Commission in 2008. “Skip’s passion for his community and those he served never wavered, he will be sorely missed”, said Elizabeth Presutti, DART CEO.
Conkling was elected as Altoona’s Mayor in 2012, and had served on the city council for 16 years before he was elected mayor. In addition to serving on DART’s Board of Commissioners, Skip was a member of the Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Metropolitan Advisory Council, 2030 Transportation Force and the Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors. He also owned local business, Conkling Services for 40 years.
Skip is survived by his wife Jeanie, two sons, two daughters, 12 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. More information on his visitation, memorial services and online condolences can be found here.