BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – For the first time in seven years, a supervisor from the southern part of the county will chair the Lee County Board of Supervisors.
Supervisor Don Hunold stepped down as chairman Wednesday at the board’s first meeting of the new year. Hunold didn’t seek re-election to the board and was replaced by Rich Harlow who won the spot in the general election.
After Hunold excused himself, Supervisor Rick Larkin, as vice chair, took over the meeting and asked for nominations for the 2019 chair. Supervisor Matt Pflug nominated Folluo as the 2019 chairman and Folluo seconded the motion. Both supervisors’ districts are in the southern part of Lee County.
During a very brief discussion on the motion, both Larkin and Supervisor Ron Fedler spoke against the nomination.
“Well, for obvious reasons, I won’t support that resolution,” Larkin said.
“I agree with Rick,” Fedler said.
The two didn’t elaborate on their opposition and, with no additional discussion, the motion was voted on with Pflug, Harlow, and Folluo voting for the motion, and Fedler and Larkin voting against the motion.
Folluo, who was vocal about the chairmanship not going to someone from the south part of the county last year, said he was surprised by the vote.
“I’m completely surprised – but pleasantly surprised, and I accept that responsibility and the duty and look forward to the next year,” Folluo said.
He said he doesn’t have any set plans to change the direction of the board.
“I hate to say this, but I’ve said it for years. I’m kind of agenda-less. I like to hear from the citizens and I don’t have a personal agenda. I want to represent the citizens of our district and Lee County and I look forward to hearing from all of them. People call me from Fort Madison, West Point, Franklin, or Montrose and I’ve always responded to them and I hope to continue that,” Folluo said.
“Other than we may have a meeting or two a year in Keokuk to utilize the South Lee County Courthouse. We do have special meetings up here and I’m not opposed to that by any means. But we need to utilize our county seats.”
Larkin was elected as the board’s vice chairman for 2019.
The last time someone from a district in the southern half of the county chaired the board was in 2012 when Janet Fife-Lafrenz had the post. For the past six years, Fedler, Larkin, Ernie Schiller, of rural Donnellson, and Hunold, have all taken turns chairing the board.