League of Women Voters Hosts 'State of Linn County'

By Mark Geary, Reporter

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By Mark Geary

CEDAR RAPIDS -- Voters' discussions about expanding Linn County's Board of Supervisors to five members sparked interest in county government.

That's why the League of Women Voters sponsored the first ever "State of the County" dinner.

County officials oversee everything from law enforcement to elections. Most people know that. But, officials also have plenty of responsibilities that are easy to overlook.

"People don't really understand what county government is doing for them behind the scenes. We're not out in the front lines like a city council or a city government," Linn County Supervisor James Houser

League of Women Voters chair Gloria Frost said, "We need to know more about these people, and we need to know more about what they do. They need to be accountable to us."

The dinner gave city officials and ordinary people the chance to ask questions.

"They have a big budget that affects everybody in the county, and I think the citizens need to understand a little bit more about how their tax dollars are spent," businessman Don Puffett said.

The idea is to help bring the county and the community together.

People asked about the new five-supervisor format and issues like solid waste.

"Citizens need to be involved in their government. You get what you deserve, and you need to have the opportunities to ask questions and you need to have the opportunity to get a full answer," Frost said.

The League believes that kind of open communication will help keep the county moving forward.

Supervisor Houser said Linn County is in excellent financial shape, and ranks among the best in the state.

E-mail Mark Geary at Mark.Geary@kcrg.com

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