OTTUMWA — County Supervisors are looking to change how Governance Board 28E needs to function.
“The state made some changes as far as children’s mental health,” Supervisor Jerry Parker said. “To comply, one of the initial things we have to do is make some changes in our 28E.”
Parker said the voting procedure is one significant change. As it stands, there are four members on the governance board. In the future, Parker, said they may need to add three members so that supervisors can get more support on financial matters.
While more support is necessary, Parker is concerned about the change it will bring.
“By adding three members that are not elected officials,” he said, “it creates the concern about how we should handle voting on matters that involve budget and levy and things like that. This is a proposed change.”
Parker said the state can bring a person in to temporarily fill Parker’s spot in case something were to happen to him, but if they have to deal with a budget concern, then that person could not vote unless they were an elected official.
Since unelected officials may pose issues, Parker suggested the three additional members should be elected officials. “That’s where we need to redo our 28E,” he said. “This is the one thing we thought the board of supervisors should tell me — on how you want me to vote.”
The Mahaska County attorney wants to review the proposed governance board changes and ask that county’s supervisors if they would want to model the functioning of Governance Board 28E.
For Parker, the discussion on the change is necessary because then he can address his concerns at the next governance meeting and then supervisors can talk about what to do next.
Supervisor Brian Morgan agreed. “We’re elected to oversee the budget,” he said, “and the people will be sitting on this — there’s a lot of emotion involved in this I’m sure, with different things with it. When it comes to dollars and cents we are the ones responsible for the budget so I think it’s only right that we have control for elected officials over those budget matters.”