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In a move that is quite frankly a bit odd, the Benton County Board of Supervisors presented the fired Board of Health members with a plaque at Tuesday's Board of Supervisor meeting.

I'm not sure if presenting fired county volunteers with plaques is a thing now or what. Of course, in the history of the county, I'm not sure how many volunteers actually get fired, but the former Board of Health did following a misunderstanding between the Benton County Board of Supervisors and the Benton County Board of Health.

Just to recap, mostly because again, I can't believe the supervisor's actions.

First, they accused the Board of Health of spending too much money, failing to realize the reason for spending this money was because of a decision that the supervisors made, which was more expensive.

Second, the supervisors met in closed sessions to discuss an appointee of the Board of Health, without the board having any input into the employee's position. It would be like the city council meeting with a library employee and firing them without the permission of the library board. The Board of Health is the one who is allowed to make these decisions, not the Board of Supervisors. But they did.

Following this meeting, the Board of Health was fired.

It is unclear why that happened, but there was never a discussion in an open meeting nor announced that there would be a closed session to discuss the firing of the Board of Health. When discussing the performance of employees, the Supervisors can go into a closed meeting to discuss the employee, but it is closed only if the employee requests it to be so.

No discussion was held, just out of the blue all three decided to fire the Board of Health. How odd. I mean, riiiight...

To make everything all better, here's your plaque. Hang it on your wall as a reminder:

-of all the hours that you spent serving your county

-of the hours you spent digging through Iowa law trying to figure out what your job really is

-that we fired you, a volunteer

-of the time we blamed you for spending money that we approved

That's what these plaques really prove. Five well-educated people, who volunteered hundreds of hours of their own time, only to be unceremoniously dumped by the county...aAccording to the supervisor's minutes, on a whim, and just because they can according to the Iowa Code 331.321(3).

So take your plaque and proudly display it...I don't know where you'd want to hang it to remind you of all of this, but display it proudly for the world to see.

Maybe it should be hung in the courthouse as a reminder that you can't fight city hall.

So now I wonder, how much did these plaques cost and who paid for them? The plaques came in at $75, and the lawsuit came in at $11,430. The argument is made that "the taxpayer didn't have to pay for the lawsuit, the insurance did."

Can someone offer an Insurance 101 class?

Ironically, the fired Board of Health didn't want to cost the county more by asking for repayment for costs that they incurred in their lawsuit, so they didn't ask. I guess they should have. What's money? "The taxpayer wouldn't have to pay it after all..."

We get to help memorialize bad decisions. Got it.

Following this presentation, with barely a breath in between, the new Board of Health was appointed: 

Karl Holmes, -PA-C Belle Plaine

Jessica Fairbanks-Vinton

Jean Ohlen-Blairstown

Tai Burkhart-Walker/Urbana

Lori Mott/Shellsburg

Wishing you good luck and best wishes...


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PK January 30, 2024, 8:51 pm BRAVO...THREE CHEERS, Val!!!

Might I suggest "over the toilet" as a perfect place of honor??
GB January 30, 2024, 11:39 pm Politics..
TH January 31, 2024, 9:48 am I believe the plaque is one of the things the former BOH asked for in one of the BOS meetings. "We deserve a plaque. We got a termination letter instead" rings a bell.

I think I remember that correctly but will have to do some searching.
LF January 31, 2024, 11:16 am Look who signed certificates! The butt smacker still representing our county lol what a joke!
TP January 31, 2024, 1:00 pm How many of the former board was there in person to receive their hero's award?

Editor’s note: only two members were able to attend, the rest were working
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