House Minority Leader Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, says he has a thick folder of e-mail messages to go through tonight.
The notes are from constituents who support his legislation allowing citizens to remove county supervisors, city council members and other local elected officials from office through a recall process.
Paulsen filed the bill this week just as the Linn County Board of Supervisors salary debacle hit the fan. Calls and e-mails have rolled in, Paulsen said, with all but one in favor of the legislation.
“I’m still waiting for the one that’s a folk song about me,” Paulson said.
Pauslen has no idea yet whether his bill will get a fair hearing in the Democratic-controlled House. Bills filed by minority party members on controversial topics usually don’t get a lot of floor time.
He’s more optimistic about a bill filed by Rep. Nick Wagner, R-Marion, that would allow supervisors across Iowa to cut their own pay without affecting the salaries of other county elected officials. Current law ties everyone’s pay together, so a cut in supervisor pay means a cut for the county attorney, auditor and recorder etc. It’s a lousy system.
Wagner’s bill, Paulson says, has a “no kidding shot” at becoming law.
I’d actually like to see a bill that eliminates compensation boards completely and hands supervisors sole power to set officials’ salaries, including their own.
That’s the way it works on city councils and in the Legislature, where members must take responsibility for pay raises and can’t hide behind the recommendations of an unelected board.
Wagner’s bill is HF 217.