The Hot Beat


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Zingula says hold off on consultants

This is an e-mail from Curt Zingula, president of the Linn County Farm Bureau. He is responding to the suggestion that the Board of Supervisors may hire the UI Public Policy Center to help with the transition from three to five supervisors.

Supervisor Linda Langston has told the Gazette that the county is looking at hiring the University of Iowa’s Public Policy Center to help the new five member board figure out how to divide responsibilities and work together. This raises the following questions about the capability, if not also the integrity, of the Linn County Board of Supervisors: 1. If we elect someone to manage, and pay them to manage, why should we also pay consultants to tell them how and what to manage?

2. Why not let the media help resolve personal conflicts? When the current Board squabbled over listing their names either alphabetically or by seniority, public awareness brought about a quick solution?

3. If, as Supervisor Langston told the Compensation Board, “a Supervisor should be able to command the respect of U.S. Senators”, then why does she assume they can’t figure out their own responsibilities?

4. Why put the cart in front of the horse? If the new Board reaches an impasse, then consider outside consultation.

5. Would the Policy Center be a crutch much like that of the Compensation Board? The Supervisors can claim that mistakes weren’t their fault!

6. Will the Policy Center respect who offered them job security and favor those Supervisors with the glory(remember, its not their fault) while giving the freshman Supervisors the crumbs?

7. How long will it take, and how much will it cost, for a consultant to learn each Supervisor’s strengths and to learn how our county government works?

8. Will we be paying for more consultants in the future because we made our Supervisors take part time pay status and by golly they aren’t going to work any more than they have to!

The bottom line for me is that hiring consultants has gotten way out of the line of necessity. If our Supervisors claim that they deserve to be paid more than most of the other supervisors in the nation (even with a $17,000 pay cut), then they certainly had better be able to figure out who should do what!!

Curt Zingula

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