Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Washington County Convention - 2012 - March Meeting


Meeting, March 10, 2012

The Washington Democratic Party County Convention was held Saturday, March 10, 2012, which, following registration and refreshments, began at noon, in the former Washington Public Library building at 120 East Main Street in Washington.

County chair Pete Morrison led the assembled group in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Pete moved that Terry Philips be named permanent chair of the county convention and that Pete and Nan Stark play the role of secretary. Bob Spenner seconded, and motion carried.

Sandra Johnson proposed and moved that we seat all registered Democrats in the room who are residents of Washington County, to this convention, in order to achieve quorum, and that everyone be a delegate. The motion was seconded. The motion carried.

Candidates spoke. Brian French represented U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack. He read a letter from Rep. Loebsack, pointing out that we have important decisions to make about the direction of our country and what our priorities will be, in a fight for middle class, seniors, families, etc. He asked that before leaving the convention we sign the petitions or sign up to volunteer. He thanked all for the hard work they do for the community. Brian said he had bumper stickers, petitions, etc., available.

Rich Taylor, a state Senate candidate to a district south of us, spoke. Terry also urged us to support three townships to the south of us with candidates for state Senate. Mr. Taylor said he was from the Mount Union area and lives south of Mount Pleasant. He represents the three southern townships of Washington County and likens this to our having a stepsister or stepbrother. We have a lot of issues about jobs here. Southern Lee County is in bad shape, and what is good for one county is often good for all -- we need more business in southeast Iowa. Mr. Taylor said he has knocked on lots of doors in his district. He believes we have to be concerned about jobs rather than gun laws, for example, at present. We need to watch out for education; the governor and the Legislature want to cut funding to the schools, universities, etc. If we get the jobs, we’ll have the funding and be able to take care of our schools, firefighters, police officers, etc.

Terry Philips spoke of Sarah Sedlacek from near Muscatine County. It’s good to consider supporting Sarah. Anyone who wants to participate in a representative race, please do.

Two candidates running for county supervisor seats spoke. Richard Gilmore is a candidate in District 4, which includes wards 1 and 4. This covers everything east of Franklin Township and south of Highway 92 (everything south of Highway 92 is in the Ward 4 district). The district is part of the city of Washington, but the city and the county have problems. School problems seem uppermost. There are increases in our taxes for water, etc. County did not get enough verbal response when they proposed a roads plan. Some apathy is part of the problem. “Another part is the person who represents District 4 has to represent the people who live in the city, too. County supervisors in other wards must also represent the city people as well. Mr. Gilmore would plan to represent all of the residents in the school, the city and the county.

Kay Ciha is a candidate for county supervisor in District 1. She lives just south of Kalona. She said this is a new venture for her, and she would appreciate help in any aspect of running. It is a big district and covers a huge land area. There are lots of miles to walk in this district. It includes Wellman and West Chester, and the rest of the district is rural. It has the townships to the very west next to the county line. Her reasons for running include addressing the rural problems a little more. She plans to address and discuss and rescind zoning, which has ordinances that should never have been included. About 390 people spoke out against it and 10 for it. She wants to address very strongly the town of Richmond. She stated that 95 percent of Richmond does not need the new septic system. Someone should have listened and talked to them instead of just railroading through a mandated septic system through. The people in that town are suffering. The third thing would be roads in this county that have been widened, graveled or paved. A specific example of this is the road to Shiloh -- only $670 is paid a year for property taxes in this area. All the rest is written off because of their religious affiliation. That money and road work should have gone to more-used roads.

Also pertinent is Kay’s financial background, which she was asked to speak about. She worked for Minn. North American for 33 years and the last few years in customer relations and in the accounting department. She moved to Kalona because zoning laws prevented her and her husband from house construction on land they owned in Johnson County -- zoning spokespersons declared the land farmland even though it was hilly and covered in timber. She also worked for a bank in Iowa City, then Gay and Ciha Funeral Home in Iowa City, owned by her son, and did accounting work. She did Pohaku accounting for five years.

We needed to recognize that Kay and Richard have worked very hard and this is ongoing. Elected officials present were also recognized.

Eight delegates were needed for April and June, district and state conventions. Delegates named were Doris Park and Steve Maxon, Pate Morrison, Adhali Larios-Hernandez, Bob Spenner, Terry Philips, Martha Dahlin and Sandra Johnson. Terry moved and Bob seconded that these eight be our delegates to district and state conventions. Motion carried. Alternates are Jan, Diane, Matt, Nate Beattie, Fred Stark, Richard Gilmore, Bob and Julie Goodrich and Mike. It was noted that alternates can also be seated as alternates from out of the county, as needed. Richard moved to elect these nine submitted alternates. Fred seconded. Motion carried.

Pete said he had forms that everyone serving as delegate or alternate needs to fill out before leaving this meeting. There is a charge for both the district and the state convention. Washington Democratic Party pays that charge for the people coming -- or at least the party has done so in the past. It is budgeted to do this again.

Four of the people serving as delegates or alternates needed to be elected to serve on district convention committees. Bob moved that Adhali be named for the Platform Committee. Motion was seconded. It was moved and seconded that Bob be alternate on the Platform Committee. Arrangements -- next meeting will be in Mount Pleasant. Rules and Nominations --Pete will serve, and Steve will be alternate. Credentials -- Sandra Johnson. Terry moved, and motion was seconded, that Pete will serve on Rules and Nominations, and motion carried. It was moved and seconded that Steve M. would be the alternate on Rules and Nominations, and motion carried. Pete moved that Sandra Johnson serve on Credentials. Motion was seconded and motion carried.

The group was then ready to address the Platform adoption.

March Meeting of Washington County Democratic Party

The March meeting of the Washington County Democrats took place Saturday afternoon, March 10, 2012, at the conclusion of the Washington County Convention, in the former Washington Public Library.

Pete Morrison, county chair, announced that the April 11 meeting will be at 7 p.m. because we have not changed the time frame to CDT.

Kay Ciha, treasurer, said we had spent around $90 for the printing of the platforms. Cash on hand on 2/8/12 was $1,407.66. Income from memberships was $849.00, bringing the cash-on-hand total to $2,256.66. Expenses were $104.83 for Staples (ink and membership blanks). Cash available on 3/10/12 is $2,151.83. We are about $1,500 below the amount we had in the treasury two or three years ago -- we have that much less than we had in 2010.

Louise Frakes announced that the Democratic Party fundraiser in Fairfield will be a political trivia contest on April 1 and urged individuals, or teams of four, to register and participate. The contest takes place at Best Western in Fairfield. The cost is $25 for a four-member team, or $10 for an individual, and the prize is $100 for the winner to give to his or her favorite candidate or back to the county.

Motion was made and seconded to adjourn, motion passed, and meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Nan Stark, Secretary