Board approves half-time assistant county attorney

The Jefferson County Board of Supervisors approved Monday creating a new position in the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office.

Jefferson County Attorney Chauncey Moulding told The Ledger the new half-time assistant attorney role has been created to be more proactive with prosecution of various matters in the county. He is pleased to receive the application and to announce the hire of attorney Mike Brown, who has a law office in Fairfield and has experience in real estate litigation. Brown was also elected Jefferson County Attorney in the 1990s.

Brown’s primary role will be dealing with the county’s Property Assessment Board. Beginning in 2018, an attorney’s office in Council Bluffs was contracted to represent this county before the county appeals board when properties’ assessed values were appealed by property owners before PAB.

Not knowing the exact amount to be incurred, each year the county attorney’s office has had to budget far over the amount annually spent. Therefore, after noting the potential savings, the supervisors decided it would be more efficient to hire a half-time person to do the office work, keep it local, and create salary in the community.

Moulding said the attorney’s office will assess those times when Brown will have a wealth of cases in the appeals process, and when times are slower, he will be available to do county representation in criminal proceedings in the Eighth Judicial District. Those could involve cases such as operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated or barred, and minor drug possessions.

The board also approved the fiscal year 2020 employee salaries for the county.

New weight limits

County Engineer Scott Cline informed the board that consulting engineers Calhoun-Burns and Associates, Inc. have given their recommended postings for bridges throughout the county, and county crews have finished posting the new weight-limits signage at county bridges. Pier repair work has been done on the Cedar Avenue Rock Creek Bridge between 218th Way and 220th Street; and signs bearing reflective material have been posted on Gear, Kelp, and 32nd to notify where cross traffic does not stop and when there is a stop sign ahead. He said culverts installed during the 1950s and early 1960s are deteriorating quickly and will need to be replaced at the same time.

New meeting time

Supervisor Daryn Hamilton told the board that the electricians began work Friday on the courthouse elevator. They are swiftly laying new lines and placing the new equipment. It is anticipated that the work will be completed by the first week in August. He also reminded the board and others that beginning Monday, July 1, the weekly meeting of the Board of Supervisors will start at 8:30 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. as it is now, and will continue to be held in their office.

Hamilton said county computers will need to be replaced which were fabricated for Windows 7 operating system, will not be able to accommodate the upgrade to Windows 10 when the old operating system will cease to be supported after Jan. 1. As many of the county offices have proprietary software from the state of Iowa, Supervisor Lee Dimmitt recommended meeting with county elected officials and contract providers to discuss the transition.