Citizens and Supervisors Come to Conclusion for Public Comments During Meetings

Citizens in attendance at the Henry County Board of Supervisors meeting on Thursday morning expressed their concerns about the public comment section on the agenda. In the past, citizens have seemingly been allowed to ask questions at any time of the meeting and respond back and forth with each other and those on the agenda. The agenda for Thursday’s meeting had the public comment section at the very beginning, before being put behind the Conservation Department update due to an appointment. Citizens spoke up, saying that the public comments section should not be before the presenters, as they often have questions over specific things said during the meeting.

Steven Giebelhausen, assistant County Attorney, addressed the issue at hand, mentioning that the Board of Supervisors meetings are for the board to get work done. If a citizen has a question that arose during the meeting, they can follow the person they wish to address outside of the meeting and ask it in private or send an email.  He also said that they are trying to run more efficient meetings.

One citizen spoke up, saying that allowing public comments only during a specific section makes it seem like they are trying to limit public input. Multiple attendees asked if the public comments section could be inserted at the end of the agenda instead, and it seems like that is what will happen from now on. It was made clear that if a “hot topic” were discussed at a meeting, additional time for public comments may be allowed.

The board also approved a motion to approve the transfer of four horses, which were subjected to neglect just outside of town. The four horses will be given to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, who has been caring for the animals. Sgt. Cargill and Deputy Kraft were acknowledged by the assistant county attorney for their help in this, as they got hold of the state veterinaries and brought in an expert.

The County Attorney’s Office also mentioned that monies have been recovered from a law firm that was paid for representation of the Sheriff’s Office in the past. A check has been received from the County with all funds previously paid to the law firm.