I suppose you are probably tired of hearing about what the Benton County Supervisors did THIS time. Quite frankly, I'm tired of writing about it or caring about it. As a matter of fact, I was just going to ignore the latest matter and then I felt like I couldn't.

On February 2, 2024, the Supervisors had a very brief meeting that lasted a mere 24 minutes. It was just a short meeting to discuss the Board of Health and the Public Health nurse. No big deal. The meeting was adjourned.

However, hours later the supervisors were still in the building. Now, honest, I know that there are several departments in the building and they could be mingling with the workers, or I know sometimes the supervisors will jump in to make repairs, maybe that was going on.

But that wasn't the case. After requesting footage from the supervisor's room, to prove they weren't having a meeting off the record...I saw that they remained in place conducting business.

Another responsibility of the Supervisors is to sign and approve all of the applications for Homestead Exception and Credit, Military Exception, Disabled Veteran Exception, and the Family Farm Excemption. There were 2,445 applications that they needed to sign. That takes hours and that's what they were doing.

Now to be honest, I was leaning toward, "Okay, so they broke the law by not announcing at the very least a work session or something so that it's public what they are doing." I was seriously going to let it slide.

Until footage showed that the HR Director stepped into the meeting and addressed the board. Then returned with a handout. Now who knows. It could be directions to McDonalds or it could be a list of rules for something in the county. It could be her job description. It could be a job posting for the assistant that she is requesting. Who knows?

No one. Because it was not an announced official meeting.

So now I was torn. To report it or not to report it. Yet it appears that Basic Government 101 for meetings doesn't seem to be understood. If the three are together outside a meeting, they CANNOT discuss county business. Technically when the meeting is adjourned, it's "Bye, see ya next time." There's no lingering to say, "How, do you think that went?" It's, "Adios Amigos."

This time it was adjourned and then they stayed for hours. Granted, 99% of the time they were working. I have no idea if they were also discussing business, probably. that would be normal just to pass the time. But still not legal.

So I sent a note to the IPIB and said, "Hey, it's me again," and I kinda felt like a tattle-tale. At the same time, these men were elected, get paid, oh wait in part by me, and they aren't following the rules. Yet they are the very people who create laws for the rest of us.

I also put in a FOIA request for the document shared with the Board. Because now I want to know what in the world she wanted to discuss with the Supervisors that couldn't be discussed in a meeting.

Now, I'm gonna go out on a limb and bet that in the spirit of transparency, there will be a move to remove the cameras from the room. Rather than stepping back and saying, "What ARE the rules?" or "Gosh darn it, we messed up again! We're sorry, we'll try to do better!" All this would be said with humility and a genuine, heartfelt apology. But it won't. If anything it goes through a lawyer and there will be no admission of guilt, because that's how this government entity works.

That's also why we keep having issues.

To see the interaction click HERE.

Next Opinion Article
Letter the Editor: Leading cause of death

Previous Opinion Article
Dear K


Submit a Comment

Please refresh the page to leave Comment.

Still seeing this message? Press Ctrl + F5 to do a "Hard Refresh".

PK February 19, 2024, 1:43 pm Well, Val...It appears like what can go on in the Big House is okay to do in the Smaller House. Honestly, what else should we lowly people expect?
KVR February 19, 2024, 5:54 pm It is clear that nothing was learned with the settlement. They’re going to continue paying an outside attorney (one from Des Moines who is likely quite a bit to retain) to fix these errors.
KT February 21, 2024, 8:34 am What's really interesting in these meetings lately, is that the new HR Director is trying to change the smooth running of the courthouse in a short time. She also wants more help already?? When hired, the board never published her job description or requirements. It seems she wants to change everything to her way of thinking, even if it costs the county un-needed money spent.
DS February 22, 2024, 9:40 am The HR director appears to me to be overstepping way, way outside of her job or legal right to do so. Where is the investigation into HER? She should be dismissed.