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The second-day story, with your help. Call Gazette reporter Adam Belz at (319) 398-8273 or e-mail him: adam.belz@gazcomm.com

An AAA bond rating. What is it good for?

Linn County got the five-star bond rating in July 1999, the last time the county issued debt. Steve Tucker, the county'[s finance director, said once you get a rating like that, it’s easy to maintain.

Rating services like Moody’s look at a county for a few indicators before they award a good rating:

1) Good governance.
2) Competent budget officials.
3) Strong local economy.

The fact that the City of Cedar Rapids has a AAA bond rating doesn’t hurt either. Now the only question: Is the county going to use that wonderful bond rating to borrow some money and do stuff, or not?

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Mark March 10 on your calendar if you care about county salaries.

That’s the day Lu Barron said she and the other supervisors will take action to “address this issue (their salaries, that is) more concretely.” She wouldn’t say on the record what they will do, but hinted that “…it’s going to cost us a lot of money.”

So to some degree, the writing’s on the wall. Dogged by the issue of their salaries since Jan. 8’s Compensation Board meeting, and with an election coming up in November, supervisors are getting tired of arguing about how much they get paid.

At Wednesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Barron said the issue was “crystallized” for her by Ron Stodola, who lives southeast of Marion.

In public comment time, he walked to the podium to speak on something he says he and his friends are unanimous about.

“When I voted for five supervisors… I somehow assumed your efforts would be distributed within five people,” he said.

Most public comment periods at supervisor meetings pass without comment.

Stodola said he is not partisan, and wants to see people compensated “appropriately.”

He pointed to liaison appointments as an example of where supervisor duties can be spread out among the five who take office in January, and took issue with the argument that the job responsibilities will not lessen when the board expands.

“If you’re not going to give up any responsibilities, that’s going to be a problem,” he said.

Then he said the supervisors had better cut their own pay, or promise they will, as soon as possible.

“If you don’t, I think we’re going to look for five new supervisors,” he said.

The supervisors thanked Stodola for his comments, and shortly after, the meeting was adjourned. He stayed after the meeting to chat. This reporter did not.

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Supervisor candidates

The following have asked the Linn County Auditor’s office for the papers required to run for county supervisor. Others may have downloaded the documents from the county’s website. Papers must be filed by March 26. 

District 1: Leon Dale D
District 1: Lu Barron D

District 2: Linda Langston D
District 2: John Erceg R
District 2: Bernita Rozinek D

District 3: Benjamin Rogers D
District 3: Mary Arenas D
District 3: Christopher Jackon R
District 3: Eric Rosenthal

District 4: Richard Heeren D
District 4: Mary Lundby R
District 4: Don Gray D

District 5: Dave Machacek R
District 5: Jim Houser D

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