Mark Beardmore
Mark Beardmore
The Carroll County Board of Supervisors this morning voted unanimously to re-elect member Mark Beardmore, a Carroll Republican, as chairman of the five-member panel.
The board tabbed Templeton Democrat Gene Meiners as vice chairman.
In making the motion on Beardmore, Meiners said that with challenges in the mental-health-services area, continuity is paramount, and that the board needs “the captain of the ship” to remain at the helm.
Beardmore, elected in November to a second, four-year term, served as chairman in 2012.
“I mostly thank you for your trust and confidence,” Beardmore said.
Beardmore noted that the Carroll board functions in a collaborative fashion in which the chairman is not elevated above other members.
Most of the work, he said, is done in the trenches.
Beardmore said the top issue the board will tackle this year will be how the county works with changes to mental-health services, stemming from a state plan to regionalize the programs of Iowa’s 99 counties.
“Has anyone ever sat here and said, ‘This is not going to be a challenging year?’ ” Beardmore said.
Another major issue will be commercial property tax reform, Gov. Terry Branstad’s top legislative priority, Beardmore said. Commercial property is now taxed at 100 percent of its value. If lawmakers scale that back, as business groups contend is essential for economic development and recruitment of new employers, counties and cities would face revenue losses unless the state offers money to offset the dip, or another solution is implemented.
Beardmore, who often describes himself as a conservative during meetings, said “expense control” of county funds is high on his list at all times.
Prior to the meeting this morning, Carroll County Magistrate Chris Polking conducted the swearing in of five county officeholders — Beardmore, Meiners, Supervisor Neil Bock, a Republican, County Auditor Joan Schettler, a Breda Democrat, and County Sheriff Doug Bass, a Carroll Democrat. All five ran unopposed in the November election.