Floyd County elected officials decide to appoint new supervisor Jan. 2
By Bob Steenson, [email protected]
Want to be a county supervisor but don’t want to go through an election? That possibility exists for about a third of the adults in Floyd County – those who live in Supervisor District 3.
The position became vacant recently when Jeff Hawbaker of Floyd, the winner-elect for that seat in the general election held earlier this month, said he was declining the position because current economic conditions would not allow him to retire as he had planned, and he didn’t think he would have enough time available to give the office the attention it deserves.
With the vacancy, it is up to a three-member board of elected county officials – the county auditor, county recorder and county treasurer – to decide whether to appoint someone to the position or call for a special election.
That group met Friday afternoon and decided unanimously to appoint someone to the office. The appointment would be until the next countywide election, which would be the general election in 2024, or could be sooner if residents of that supervisor district petition for a special election within two weeks after an appointment is made, or if another countywide special election is held.
The appointment can’t be made until Jan. 2, because the position doesn’t become officially vacant until then. The current supervisors hold office until Jan. 1.
Carr, Recorder Amy Assink and Treasurer Frank Rottinghaus are making the decisions on the process now, and will meet again on Dec. 5 to set the wording on a public notice regarding applications to be considered for the appointment.
She said they will likely ask applicants to submit a letter listing their experience, experience with public meetings, why they are interested in the position, etc.
The current three-person board of elected officials is divided politically, with Assink a Republican, Rottinghaus a Democrat and Carr who has run as No Party in each of her elections.
But Rottinghaus did not run for re-election, and his term of office also expires Jan. 1, so it will be Recorder-elect Jessie Holm who will take office Jan. 2 and then be part of the group that appoints the supervisor for District 3. Holm is also a Republican.
Carr said there has been some discussion in the county about who should be appointed, with some people saying it should be Jim Lundberg, a Democrat who came in second in the election for Supervisor District 3, but others saying that the voters picked a Republican (Hawbaker) and a Republican should be appointed to the position. The actual appointee can be anyone who lives in District 3 (including having lived in the district for at least 60 days prior to the appointment), is eligible to serve as a supervisor, and who applies for the position.
Carr said the decision will be made by her, Assink and Holm, and it will depend on who applies.
After an appointment is made, residents of District 3 – the northern tier of townships plus Rockford Township – will have 14 days if they wish to submit a petition calling for a special election. At least 192 valid signatures of District 3 residents would be required to call for a special election.
If a special election is called for, Iowa Code says it must be on on a Tuesday at “the next practical date,” with at least 32 days notice. It can’t be held on the same day as another special election that isn’t countywide, for example if the Charles City School District decides to hold a bond referendum in March.
Carr said if a special election is called by petition, the county Republican and Democratic parties can each call a nominating convention to nominate their candidates for the seat. Other persons who want to be on the ballot would need to file a petition and sign an affidavit of candidacy.
If a person is appointed supervisor and there is no special election, that person will serve until the next county-wide election, which would normally be in November 2024, unless there is some other county-wide special election held before then.
If there is a special election, the winner will serve until the term would normally be over, until the end of 2026. If there is no special election, an election for the position will be held in the November 2024 general election, and the person elected than would also serve until the end of the regular term, at the end of 2026.