Dear Osceola County Taxpayers,
The Osceola County Taxpayers Association (OCTA) appreciates the services our county government provides. We also continue our educational mission to insure our small county never loses its county government. There is currently a serious financial risk though. For too long, the Osceola County Supervisors have been justifying their high wages by comparing our county salaries to those salaries in counties right around us.
News Release – Osceola County Taxpayers Association
June 10, 2008
O’Brien County Attorney Bruce Green met with the Osceola County Board of Supervisors today, in an effort to negotiate a costly new 28E Agreement for services provided to O’Brien County by the Osceola County Attorney Robert Hansen. During the course of the discussions in Sibley this morning, Green made this admission –
May 1 – Bloomberg (William Selway): “U.S. state sales-tax collections fell in the first quarter for the first time in six years as consumers curbed spending, dealing a blow to state finances from Rhode Island to California, a study found. Sales taxes fell in 21 of the 36 states that have reported collections for the first three months of 2008, according to the study by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany, New York. Southeastern states were the hardest hit, the study found, because of the subprime mortgage market collapse.
The Challenge we Have in Osceola County is Going on Nationally
April 30 – USA Today (Dennis Cauchon): “Federal, state and local governments are hiring new workers at the fastest pace in six years… Governments added 76,800 jobs in the first three months of 2008…By contrast, private companies collectively shed 286,000 workers in the first three months of 2008.”
If Lawyer Profits Per Partner Are at Record Levels Among The Large Firms, One Can Only Imagine What They Are Doing For Firms That Have Much Lower Operating Costs!
Ever since the Osceola County Supervisors disapproved of county attorney Robert Hansen taking additional employment in O’Brien County in January of 2006, members of the Osceola County legal community have behind the scenes been aggressively attempting to intimidate the Supervisors and anyone else who objected to Hansen’s profitable arrangement. Evidence of these attempts is below.
January 3, 2006, the Supervisors passed the resolution found here disagreeing with Hansen. By January 12, 2006, the Supervisors received a letter from the Osceola County Bar Association. Keep in mind that this is the group which former County Attorney Harold Dawson referred to in 1995 when he said that none of their members were interested in the County Attorney job. Do they have a financial interest in seeing Mr. Hansen keep his Full-time position? The letter repeated many of the themes Hansen has been saying, but disingenuously added that “Mr. Hansen’s salary received through his employment as the Osceola County Attorney is significantly lower than the salaries of identical positions in surrounding counties.” First, the positions are not `identical’ because Hansen has far less work to do than the other counties around us. Second, compare this false statement to the FY 2007 salaries of county attorneys, as provided by Iowa State Association of Counties in Des Moines. Hansen - $66,533, Dickinson - $57,200, Clay - $46,989, O’Brien - $51,500, Sioux - $88,561, Lyon - $72,681. Hansen’s is only lower than Sioux and Lyon County and each of them has a larger population than our county (Sioux County is nearly 4 times the size.) The Bar Association’s letter closed with this statement - which reveals little concern for the taxpayers – “In the interest of fairness and of the benefit to Osceola County this decision should be reviewed and overturned.” The OCTA believes the very opposite of such a proposed action is what is best for Osceola County. This letter was personally signed by E. H. Philiph, Frank Kennedy, Joseph Feller, Daniel DeKoter, Michael Thole, Harold Dawson, James Benz, Nicole Jensen-Harris and Melinda Roman.
OCTA President Asks Supervisors to Reclassify County Attorney Job And Inquire of Former County Attorney Harold Dawson
March 13, 2007, OCTA President Kevin Wolfswinkel presented a statement to the Osceola County Board of Supervisors, regarding the recent survey of eleven Iowa county attorneys completed by OCTA. Please see his statement and survey results here.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007, a follow up letter was entered into the minutes of the Osceola County Board of Supervisors calling upon the Supervisors to reclassify the County Attorney's job from a Full-time position to a Part-time one. OCTA officially presented this letter during the April 24, 2007, meeting. OCTA's president Kevin Wolfswinkel also asked the supervisors to launch a formal inquiry into assurances made by former county attorney Harold Dawson that the job of county attorney is a full time job. OCTA thinks such an inquiry needs to be done in light of the compelling evidence that even yet today this job is not a full-time position.
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