Northwest Iowa Town Continues To Ignore Gender Rules

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By Richard Pratt

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The northwest Iowa town of Sanborn apparently has opted not to change course after drawing scrutiny for allegedly flouting state rules mandating gender balance on boards and commissions.

Because there is no penalty for breaking those rules, it appears the Sanborn Electric and Telecommunications Utility Board will remain a boys club.

The city was contacted by the Iowa Ombudsman's office in October after the Sanborn City Council chose to disregard a female candidate for the three-member utility board. They reappointed a longstanding board member instead, meaning the panel remained all-male.

According to a letter Ombudsman Ruth Cooperrider sent to the Sanborn mayor and City Council members this week, the town did not take any of her suggested corrective actions. She expressed frustration, but said this would be her final communication.

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