Mayors of eight Dallas County municipalities have sent a written request dated April 5 to the Dallas County supervisor’s board (Dallas County News, April 28, 2016). The mayors requested an increase in membership from three part-time to five full-time supervisors.
Dallas County is the fastest-growing county in Iowa with over 80,000 residents. The county has more than doubled in population since 1990. Since 2010, Dallas County has had an increase of 14,000 new residents. With Kettlestone and other developments, the population is expected to continue growing at a fast pace.
Supervisor Golightly is quoted as saying that he preferred the petition process instead of the supervisors requesting the increase of the number of supervisors to be put on the November 9 ballot. Obtaining 3,000 signatures by August in order for it to be put on the ballot is a daunting task for volunteers. The mayors were elected to represent the interests of their citizens, so that should be sufficient reason for the supervisors to do their duty by putting it on the ballot by themselves.
Supervisor board chairman, Mark Hanson, stated that going from three to five supervisors will increase the cost of government for tax payers. The supervisors did not seem too concerned about that when they increased their salary by 5.01% in 2015. This was the 3rd largest percentage increase in Iowa. In the last two years, their annual salaries have increased $3,810 each. Their annual salary of $51,225 is the 5th highest in Iowa, as a part-time job.
The mayors are considering five supervisor districts with residents within each district voting. Each supervisor should be expected to spend 40 hours a week on the job at the current salary.
Julie Steward (Ziesman)