BH County Supervisors Replace Motion, Vote Again To Cut Health Dept. Funding
Last Friday, we reported that Black Hawk county Assistant Attorney, Mike Trienen was conducting a review of the legality of the wording in a motion by one of the Board of Supervisors that inferred eliminating a second epidemiologist position.
According to Iowa law, it is the county health department's responsibility to decide what items or positions will be affected by funding cuts. During the meeting on Tuesday, (available online for public viewing) the supervisors rescinded last week’s motion and replaced it with one that solely cut funds to their budget, not specifically eliminating the epidemiologist position. Although, the budget cut is still $99,000, which is near the exact amount allocated for the position.
Several local leaders, including Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart, along with many residents expressed their concerns and made strong cases for the Board to reconsider the funding cuts, but to no avail. In what, essentially, was a formality, the Board members, by the same original margin, voted 3-2 to cut the funds.
The Rev. Mary Robinson, chair of the Black Hawk County Health Board, stated that the board "is still very supportive of the budget that we have submitted" and that she is "just amazed by the rationale when we talk about economics", and she reminded the board that they returned over 2-million dollars back to the county in fiscal years 2016 through 2020. "So it can not be because of a financial issue".
In last week's meeting, Supervisor Tom Little suggested the budget cut, pointing out that other Iowa counties, some larger than Black Hawk County, have no epidemiologists. On Tuesday, Craig White backed his "yes" vote, by saying: "I did my homework", "I studied this stuff". "Just because somebody makes a decision, doesn't mean they have less respect for anybody, anywhere."
Watch the entire meeting here: