BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
MONTROSE – A Donnellson woman has been appointed to the Lee County Conservation Board.
During Tuesday morning’s regular meeting of the Lee County Board of Supervisors, Liza Alton of Donnellson was appointed to sit on the board that’s been mired on controversy since banning permanent duck blinds earlier this year.
Alton is a substitute teacher in the Central Lee school system and has served stints on the Lee County Fair Board, Lee County Pork Producers Board of Directors, and served on several committees with the National Pork Board.
Bernie McCauley of West Point cautioned the board to consider someone who has a background and passion for hunting in Lee County.
“I have been attending the conservation board meetings since, what you label as controversy, began, starting with the duck blinds,” he said. “There is an admitted lack of knowledge on the current board of hunters and hunting, and between bird hunters, duck hunters, and deer hunters. I think it represents a fair percentage of the population of groups that use the conservation areas.”
McCauley said he’s sure the current board has done a great job in relation to parks and other conservation property.
“I’m sure the current board does a great job with issues relating to parks and some of the other things, but I was going to appeal to the board to consider an application of a hunter so that input could be given to the board directly and that knowledge could be used in decisions the board makes,” he said.
Supervisor Don Hunold reminded the board that the state has encouraged all local governmental agencies to be as gender neutral in their appointments as possible. He also said Alton represents an area of the county typically not represented on the conservation board.
“We have one lady on the board from the Wever area, one guy from Fort Madison, and three guys from the Montrose/Keokuk area,” Hunold said. “Liza Alton is from north Donnellson and that area as far as I can tell has not been covered. She is also a lady and having the board gender neutral is a good thing. We don’t have anybody in that direction that’s ever applied and with that I’d make a motion to approve Liza Alton for the conservation board.”
Rick Larkin agreed that adding a woman to the board would be a good thing and said all three were qualified to be on the board. The motion to appoint a board member was tabled at the last meeting, after Supervisor Ron Fedler moved to appoint Michael Clark to the board. A vote on that motion was never taken.
“I said the same thing last week,” Fedler said. “I think all three are well qualified, but we can only choose one, but I wanted it known that I had been talking about it in my district.”
Larkin reminded the supervisors that the conservation board members are in staggered appointments so one person is appointed each year.
“They should reapply if they really want to be on it if they aren’t chosen this year,” he said before the vote.
The board also re-appointed Paula Spiekermeier and Judy Bartachek to the Lee County Board of Health.
In other action, the board approved an amendment and appropriations to the fiscal year 2018 budget to help offset increased maintenance costs for the Lee County buildings as a result of repairs being done on the South Lee County Courthouse. The motion passed 4-1 with Fedler voting against the move.