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Resolution Asks Lawmakers To Review Legislation

By Staff | May 12, 2009

Palo Alto County Supervisors took some action Tuesday to express their dissatisfaction with a recent ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court. The supervisors introduced and adopted a resolution during their weekly meeting Tuesday, May 5, calling on the Iowa Legislature to review the Defense of Marriage Act.

The resolution was titled “Asking for review of the Defense of Marriage Act by the Iowa Legislature and the People of Iowa.”

The text of the resolution follows:

“WHEREAS, the Iowa Legislature passed and the Governor signed the 1998 Defense of Marriage Act, stating that marriage in Iowa is only between one man and one woman, and

WHEREAS, on April 3, 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court issued an opinion that is in conflict with that law, and

WHEREAS, Iowa Code Section 595.2 has not been amended or repealed, and

WHEREAS, the Iowa Legislature has the duty to check and balance the Iowa Judicial Branch,

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors demand that the Iowa Legislature resolve this issue by passing legislation that will lead to a public vote to amend the Iowa Constitution.”

There was little discussion from board members as the resolution addressing the same-sex marriage issue was introduced, and a minor change in language of the resolution drew a motion by Supervisor Keith Wirtz to introduce and approve the resolution, with a second from Supervisor Jerry Hofstad.

There was no additional discussion and Board Chair Ed Noonan called for the roll call vote. All five supervisors quickly cast “aye” votes in support of the resolution and Noonan declared the resolution duly introduced and approved.

“This resolution is a good way to make a statement,” Palo Alto County Attorney Peter C. Hart complimented the board on its action. “Hopefully enough other counties will do the same thing and bring this question to the public for a vote.”

A similar resolution was passed last week by the Supervisors in Johnson County, and numerous other Iowa counties are contemplating similar resolutions.

In other items of business, the supervisors learned of a shortfall for a scheduled bond payment. Robin Jamison of the Auditor’s Office informed the board that a scheduled bond payment for the Secondary Road Bond was due on June 1, in the amount of $824,401. However, the bond repayment fund was short approximately $33,000 to make that payment.

“There is about $10,000 in delinquent levies which have not been paid, and we came up short because we only had a estimated amitorization schedule from Dorsey and Whitney when we set up the level of $1.61 for the taxpayers,” Jamison explained. “You told the taxpayers the levy would be $1,61 so you don’t want to have to raise the levy.”

Palo Alto County Engineer Joel Fantz suggested the shortfall be covered by the interest proceeds from the bond investment fund. “I believe we can legally use the interest for that purpose. I know we can’t use actual bond funds to pay on the bond principal amount.”

After a brief discussion, the board agreed using the interest would be the way to make up the shortfall, but suggested a call to Dorsey and Whitney, the legal firm handling the bonding program, to check on the propriety of the move.