Legislative Wake-up Forum

Rep. Lisa Hedden answers questions at the legislative forum held on Saturday at Ames City Hall. The forum gives community members, local leaders and the public the opportunity to engage with elected officials.

Iowa Representative Lisa Heddens, D-Ames, said she will be putting her name in the running for Story County Supervisor.

Heddens was first elected to the legislature in 2002, and previously served as an assistant majority leader when Democrats controlled the Iowa House of Representatives.

There is currently a vacancy on the Story County Board of Supervisors following Rick Sanders’ resignation. Sanders resigned as supervisor upon taking his position as president of the Iowa State University Research Park.

Under Iowa code, there are two ways to fill a vacancy in this situation. Either a special election will be called, or the Vacancy Committee, made up of the county auditor, treasurer, and recorder, will appoint a new supervisor.

Applications to fill the vacancy are due June 5, and the Vacancy Committee will meet June 10. Supervisor Linda Murken said the committee will most likely make their decision June 13.

Murken said a special election would cost $30,000-40,000. If voters seek a special election, then they would need to petition.

Should voters file a petition with the county auditor within 14 days after an appointment is made, the appointment of a new supervisor would be temporary pending the result of the special election. Iowa code states the winner of the special election would take office “for the remaining balance of the unexpired term.”

Otherwise, individuals interested in the position can submit an application to fill the vacancy, which would be reviewed by the Vacancy Committee.

“I hope those who are interested will put in an application,” Murken said. “Local government is important, and people don’t realize that.”

Under the County Home Rule amendment to the Iowa Constitution, counties have the power "to determine their local affairs and government.”

“Supervisors establish the county budget and tax rates, oversee departments and operations, certify results of elections and many other things,” Murken said.

Should Heddens be selected as supervisor, she would have to leave her position as a representative under Iowa Code § 68B.2A.

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