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A Closer Look At Gender Equity

October 6, 2015
Emmetsburg News

Dear Editor,

Recently, the Board of Supervisors had two applicants interested in appointment to the Civil Service Commission, Mary Hilfiker and Terry Klooster. Lori McNally resigned on July 20th from the Commission, leaving one seat open. County Attorney Peter Hart reviewed Iowa Code Section 69.16A Gender Balance with the Board on Sept. 15th, immediately before they appointed Terry Klooster. With a vote of 4 -1 (Graettinger voting nay), the Board approved Klooster to succeed McNally.

This is in violation of Iowa Code Section 69.16A. It states: All appointive boards, commissions, committees, and councils of the State established by the Code, if not otherwise provided by law, shall be gender balanced. In Section 2 it states: Political subdivisions should utilize a fair and unbiased method of selecting the best qualified candidates.

The Iowa Commission on the Status of Women reported in a 2014 study that less than 20 percent of the seats in Palo Alto County, appointed by the Board of Supervisors, were held by women.

We ask the Board of Supervisors to look to the Emmetsburg Mayor and City Council for leadership on this issue, where gender balance became a priority with the Code in 2009, and now the majority of its appointed boards and commissions are gender balanced.

As Desmond Tutu said, "If we are going to see real development in this world, then our best investment is in women."


(signed) Renee Jedlicka

Palo Alto County Branch - AAUW



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