The county is represented in the courthouse
In response to the article regarding the proposal led by Glenn Hurst to divide the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors into districts. Mr Hurst failed to mention that the “county” is well represented in the County Courthouse. The county treasurer, attorney and auditor (who was also a member of the Board of Supervisors for many years) all reside in the “county.” This special election will also cost taxpayers like you and me over $100,000 all due to someone who was not successful in his political endeavor.
Districting an effort to increase representation
The condescending response from members of the Board of Supervisors to the ballot initiative to district the county demonstrates the very need to do so. This initiative was born from the voters. Though the petition process is coordinated by me, it is an insult to the citizens of the county to suggest that their desire for districting should be put aside.
The deaf ear turned to the public’s voice is more likely an example of the tree falling in the woods, none of them were here to hear it. As was stated during the forums, win or lose the election, this is the process that we knew would be followed. The dollars spent on the election comes from the citizens. For those who feel underrepresented, this is the format we must follow according to state law.
Shame on those who would suggest that the price of democracy is too high when the public demands it and the public pays for it. There are tools to help mitigate costs. Clearly, some board members feel threatened by this effort, but it is not about them or me.
A district for east Council Bluffs may very well place 4 of the 5 current members in competition with each other to keep their job but that is no justification for opposing representative government. In my own case, any east Pottawattamie district would be heavily Republican and therefore not a benefit to my campaign were I to run as a Democrat again for the board.
The initiative has been misrepresented as being about rural versus urban representation. It is about the diversity of the entire county. It was by design that the kickoff for this initiative was held in Carter Lake, a diverse and unique community in all of Iowa which has not had a member of its community on the board as far back as online county records show. Carter Lake, east and west Council Bluffs, the Loess Hills area, east Pottawattamie County and Lake Manawa are all very different from one another. Districting would give each of them their own voice.
Characterizing the outcome of districting by the number of seats held by the whole Bluffs metro versus the rest of the county once again demonstrates the failure to understand that the current system does not represent the diversity of the county. Representative government should be the rule, not a stroke of luck.