GOP moving toward one-party rule


Dear Editor,

Once upon a time long ago Iowa Republicans believed big government should stay clear of the day-to-day operations of counties, cities, towns and school boards.
No more!
An appetite for power fueled by the single-minded ideology that comes with one-party rule has reversed principles of governance in Iowa.  Driven by an anti-tax feeding frenzy and a holier-than-thou moral superiority Governor Reynolds and the Republican legislature are meddling head-strong in how we live our lives.
HF 718 mandating across the board draconian cuts to the property tax rate has local officials statewide reeling.  Here in Henry County long-respected and experienced administrators are rightfully concerned about services and safety.  The County Attorney, Sheriff, General Assistance Administrator, Public Health Director and others are worried that cuts adversely impact their duties and our quality of life.  Our neighbors in Lee County face an even greater dilemma.
Concerns fall largely on deaf ears as our county supervisors march to the dictates of Des Moines.  Nothing in the record tells us the like-minded supervisory Henry County trio ever questioned HF 718 on our behalf while it was rushed through the legislative mill.   Nor, do we know if they were even asked.
We recently learned that up the road about a mile from me is one of the five most dangerous stretches of highway in the entire state.  Is it right for us to expect our Sheriff to commit resources and increased enforcement in the interest of public safety while telling him to slash positions and funding?  Has anyone asked this question or presented it to area legislators?
HF 718 is only a starter.  The Governor and a bevy of hot-blooded, know-it-all legislators are telling school librarians what to do, Area Education Agency services are on the ropes, public school funding is ravaged, nutrition assistance for children has been denied solely for purposes of political pandering and Police Chiefs are being told how to manage traffic safety.  There is little evidence of due diligence with educators, food bank workers or highway safety experts as these actions are imposed.
Iowa has ninety-nine counties – no two alike.  Iowa has 327 School Districts – no two alike.
Ill-informed one size-fits-all policies and Des Moines directives do not respect this diversity and are contrary to the home-rule principles of local governance that is favored by Iowans. 
This chicken has come home to roost.  One-party rule has consequences.

Dave Hellman,

opinion, letter to the editor, GOP, one-party rule, legislators, Pen City Current, Dave Hellman, Salem,


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