Supervisors express their concerns about salaries

The Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors crunched numbers and talked budgets in meetings Monday and Tuesday, agreeing in principal to double the money the county allocates to the Northeast Iowa Community Action Partnership (NEIA) on Tuesday, then addressing concerns about the trend of autonomous boards increasing salaries for employees in many departments generally, and Chickasaw County Public Health and Home Care specifically.

The board also received an apology from EMA and 911 Coordinator A.J. Seely before receiving a report about those department budgets from Seely. Seely apologized for a provocative personal email about the supervisors that he sent out on Dec. 30. That email was made public last week. He told the board the that he was sorry about the email and that it wouldn’t happen again. 

Seely then presented his budget to the supervisors, which has already been approved by the EMA board and is awaiting a public hearing later this month. The board has no control over the EMA budget, so Seely presented what amounted to an update.

The supervisors heard from county treasurer Sue Breitbach and unanimously approved the semi-annual financial report. Breitbach told the board that the balance for the county was up $840,000 from one year ago. She presented the report and will have it published, in compliance with state law.

The supervisors met with NEIA representatives David Boss and Trisha Wilkins, who presented the budget request from Chickasaw County. NEIA is a non-profit corporation that serves low-income individuals and families in seven counties in northeast Iowa. Boss told the board the the group had received $15,000 annually from Chickasaw County in recent years.

Supervisor David Tilkes initially recommended giving the group an increase, to $34,000. He pointed out that state and federal governments have cut money to the program substantially, and more cuts are certain to come.

“We get a huge return on our investment from this group,” Tilkes said. “We reach more than 1100 people with this money.”

Supervisor Dan Carolan agreed. “We’re going to have to step up and take care of these people one way or another.”

Carolan went on to commend the work done by NEIA.

“These people are very good at what they do,” he said. 

Supervisor Steve Geerts suggested an increase to $30,000, double what the NEIA received a year ago, and the rest of the board agreed.


For more of this article, see Friday's Tribune.

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