Board decides to lead

One of the biggest criticisms leveled against the City of Cedar Rapids and Linn County is a lack of leadership.  Buttry, Dorman, and the Gazette’s editorial writers have recently been taking aim with increasing frequency at CR and County leadership.  And I agree with Buttry et al:  The County and CR need to do a better job of leading.


Yesterday (2/20), the Board of Supervisors (BOS) demonstrated they can lead.  While the BOS voted 3-2 not to join the co-location study, the fact that each of the five shared their reasons for voting in the manner they were going to vote AND then actually voted to do something was refreshing. 


The Board decided to lead.  And I view their decision as a landmark event because it was a decision to control their (and my/our) destiny when it seemed our destiny was at the mercy of CR.


While CR Councilor Pozimek didn’t like the Board’s decision, he never addressed – at least at the BOS meeting – the timeline challenges the County, CR, and CR Schools are facing. 


The timeline for completing repairs on our buildings is 36 months from the start of the Presidential Disaster Declaration.  The public tends to forget that the Declaration began with the tornado that hit Parkersburg, which means we’ve already chewed up nine plus months of a 36 month timeline.  And while we have restored the Elections Depot and we’re back in the Courthouse and we’re working on the Correctional Center, we’ve made little progress on the AOB, Witwer, Youth Shelter, and Options buildings.


The second item no one has addressed is how would the County, CR, or CR Schools pay for co-location?  I do NOT believe anyone intends to use the local option sales tax (if approved) for new government buildings.  That leaves the County, CR, and CR Schools with one source of revenue – property taxes – to supplement their reimbursements from FEMA.  Do we really want to saddle the taxpayers with an increase in property taxes at this point in time?  Or over the next few years?  For government buildings?

A majority of the BOS already recognized that the County is short of time and short of funds to participate in co-location with CR and the CR Schools.  If you already know on February 20, 2009, that you are short on both of those key ingredients, why would you proceed with the study?


The Board made the correct decision for Linn County yesterday.  And to top it off, the Board decided to lead.

2 Responses to “Board decides to lead”

  1. lcauditor Says:

    The BOS issued a press release on their decision and it’s posted at


  2. thumbsupracing Says:

    Great commentary, and I love your participation with the live updates on Twitter. Tonight, for instance I was unable to attend the LOST forum and the audio stream from the gazette was flaky. They actually gave more updates copying and pasting your tweets directly into their live blog! So keep it up! It’s refreshing to hear someone so close to the machine keeping us informed.


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