Recall bill could impact board of supervisors - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Recall bill could impact board of supervisors

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by Bryan Goettel

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - The salaries of the five members of the Linn County Board of Supervisors are being met with anger by some members of the public. Now a recall bill has been sent to the State Government Committee that would allow voters to petition for their removal.

"They shouldn't make it impossible to get the number of signatures, but they shouldn't make it so easy so that people are going out and doing recall positions every time you turn around," said Linn County Auditor Joel Miller.

This is how the recall process would work:

-a petition would have to contain signatures from at least 20 percent of voters from the last election of the office affected by the recall.

-more than 113,000 votes were cast in Linn County in the last election in November.

-that means nearly 23,000 signatures would be needed to remove someone from their elected position.

-in the case of the supervisors, the numbers would be smaller, since there are five.

-for example, Brent Oleson's district had the most votes cast in November with over 26,000.

-it would take 20 percent of that number -- or a little more than 5,000 signatures -- to have Oleson recalled.

Ben Rogers feels this bill targets the supervisors.

"I have no problem with voters being able to recall an elected official, but the language of the bill should be all elected officials," said Rogers.

The bill would allow petitions against any locally elected officials, but includes nothing about state positions.

"I certainly wouldn't want to be an elected official right now," said Linn County Compensation Board member Allen Merta. "No one seems to be satisfied with whatever you do."

Merta helped approve keeping the supervisors salaries at just over 87,000 dollars. He and Linn County Auditor Joel Miller agree that determining the right salary is no easy task.

"The board wants to have as good a salary package available to attract some of the best and the brightest talent," said Merta.

"Everyone would probably like to cut all the salaries everywhere, but then you're gonna be faced with who are you going to get to run for these offices?" said Miller.

The Board of Supervisors will meet again Friday to discuss and take action about possible raises for Miller and several other county officials.

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel

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