(Updates w/clarification on how an appointment is made)
By a vote of 2-to1, the Cass County Conference Board Thursday, decided against reappointing Cass County Assessor Brenda Nelson to another six-year term, which expires at the end of the year. Instead, the Board will open up the position to new applicants. The Conference Board is made of representatives from the Board of Supervisors, Mayors of the cities in Cass County, and the School District, who choose one person from each entity to vote on matters before the Board.
Cass County Assessor Brenda Nelson
Board of Supervisors member Duane McFadden told KJAN News the decision not to re-appoint Nelson boiled down to several questions not being answered to the Conference Board’s satisfaction, with regard to the person hired for the GIS (Geographic Information Specialist) position. He said “There’s been a little issue with the GIS person being in a certain location which he was, next to them [the Assessor] and below the Auditor and close to the Engineer, and we thought we had that resolved yesterday [Thursday] morning in meeting with her, and her people. But the thing is, it seemed like there was a lot of questions that we didn’t get direct answers on.”
McFadden said Nelson was concerned about her budget, that the GIS expenditures come through her budget, but tax dollars he said, pay for the position, and each of the departments that utilize the service have agreed to pay for their portion of that service which was set up Nelson’s budget.
McFadden said Brenda Nelson didn’t speak following Thursday night’s decision, and she was not immediately available this (Friday) morning, for comment. McFadden said there’s no guarantee that whoever is appointed to the Assessor’s job in January, won’t butt heads with the various County Board Members and Offices, but the Conference Board felt they couldn’t continue for another six-years having issues.
He said someone else coming in may operate in the same way, but you’d hope that if there’s a problem, it’s addressed with a satisfactory solution. He said “There’s just some things we don’t seem to get resolved fully [with Nelson].”
Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman said the County Examiner’s Board (appointed by the Cass County Assessor Conference Board), shall, in accordance with Iowa Code, “Within seven days of the occurrence of the vacancy, request the director of revenue to forward a register containing the names of all individuals eligible for appointment as assessor. The examining board may, at its own expense, conduct a further examination, either written or oral, of any person whose name appears on the register, and shall make written report of the examination and submit the report together with the names of those individuals certified by the director of revenue to the conference board within 15 days after the receipt of the register from the director of revenue.”
“Upon receipt of the report of the examining board, the chairperson of the conference board shall by written notice call a meeting of the conference board to appoint an assessor. The meeting shall be held not later than seven days after the receipt of the report of the examining board by the conference board. At the meeting, the conference board shall appoint an assessor from the register of eligible candidates. However, if a special examination has not been conducted previously for the same vacancy, the conference board may request the director of revenue to hold a special examination (pursuant to section 441.7). The chairperson of the conference board shall give written notice to the director of revenue of the appointment and its effective date within ten days of the decision of the board.”