My response to http://marion.patch.

com/articles/accusations-fly-relationshipbetween-2-elected-linn-county-officials-gone-up-in-flames A few comments: Re “gone up in flames” – We were never married and we are not getting divorced. We disagree. Re $2500 bonus – One-time supplemental pay for excellent work by my deputy who administered the biggest general election (November 2012) and the biggest unscheduled special election (March 2013) in Linn County’s history. At this morning’s Board meeting, I recommended that the First Deputy Treasurer be considered for a onetime supplemental payout for the work she’s been doing for the last several years to convert the County’s tax system from one computer system/application to another. Re outside the HR process – The HR process did not apply. The Purchasing Policy did apply and I followed it. Re paying him $40,000.00 – The County paid Kelly Services – a temporary employment agency. The temp received substantially less than $40K. Re not getting any work product – The iMaint application was being used by Facilities at the time the Board took Facilities away from me. It was not being used and did not perform adequately before I hired the temp. The temp fixed it and made it usable. Re lengthy and pricey lawsuit – The lawsuit is lengthy because the Iowa Court system for civil cases is underfunded and routine civil matters are not a priority. Pricey? I had to get an outside attorney to represent me in Miller v Board. That attorney is charging the County a discounted rate. The County Attorney went to the Board of Supervisors and told them that his office could no longer represent the Office of Auditor because I was asking other elected officials questions and they needed legal representation. (Why did they need legal representation for my questions?) I did not ask for an additional attorney – he was forced upon me. That said, my attorneys are doing a fine job at little overall cost. In fact, I have to wonder if the County could save tax dollars by contracting out its civil work? The County has three civil attorneys and a paralegal. Is there a less expensive way to do it? Re hefty raises – Yes, they did it and they got away with it. Re appointed a “crony” – Board should be laying off the Construction Manager on 6/30/2013. Instead, they took Facilities away from me and gave it to the Construction Manager/Facilities Manager. Cost to taxpayers in FY13/14 - $135K that could have been saved. I was already doing the job at no additional cost. See

Re “lousy” attendance at board meetings – Oleson missed or was late to 29 out of 136 Board meetings in 2012. From 1/1/2013 – 5/8/2013, he missed 6 of 51 meetings. These are meetings he and his peers schedule at their convenience for their convenience. Oleson supposedly avoids using his electronic passcard key for door entry at the County because he’s concerned someone will make a public records request of his history to check on when he’s coming and going. The Board did not install security cameras in the hallways leading to their offices on the top floor; yet, every other floor, as well as, the top floor mechanical room has security cameras. Why? I’m guessing they do not want anyone knowing when they are coming and going. Reevaluate how the County is organized - The County has maintained virtually the same organizational structure since it was formed in 1839. Supposedly, the County is going to receive less tax dollars in FY14/15 and beyond due to the recent changes in property tax laws. Taxpayers should have an option to reorganize the County in a form they can afford based upon the reality of the new tax structure. We have an opportunity to be proactive or we can react as we usually do. That might mean we eliminate and/or combine offices and positions. Or we might maintain the status quo. But what’s the harm of establishing a charter commission to study it? Re “hundreds of thousands of dollars” - Baloney. The commissioners are not compensated except for mileage and incidental expenses – the same as school board members. And if the commission recommends a charter, it’s placed on an upcomi ng general election ballot at no additional cost – unlike the recent gambling election which cost taxpayers several hundred thousand dollars. Conclusion – Oleson and I have differences of opinion and our relationship has been strained for quite awhile. And when he doesn’t get his way, he whines as he did for this story. But, the fact is, nobody really cares and it really doesn’t affect the performance of my office or the employees reporting to him. County employees are no different than employees everywhere from the standpoint of gossiping and speculating. And elected officials and corporate vice presidents do the same thing. And guess what? The work still gets done and customers still get taken care of in a professional manner. The real challenge in this work environment is getting the facts and disseminating the facts. I think I can corroborate every fact I have listed in the preceding except the “gone up in flames” comment. I haven’t seen any open flames today.

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