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Supervisors discuss budget goals for upcoming year

County attorney office space, staffing among topics

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IOWA CITY — Staffing methods and capital improvement projects were the major topics of discussion Monday during a meeting of the Johnson County Board of Supervisors.

The board scheduled the work session to highlight specific goals and priorities as it heads into budget planning season. Talks on where the county attorney’s office could be relocated and how departments go about requesting new staffing took up much of the time.

Supervisor Janelle Rettig showed up with a list of goals she hopes to keep in mind while planning for the next year. She wants to move the needle on dealing with poverty in Johnson County by encouraging employment, developing affordable housing and hiring more conservation and ambulance staff, among other things.

“I am aware that pressure is building on a variety of departments,” Rettig said.

The supervisors discussed the possibility of requesting that staff from the county’s various departments write plans outlining any new staff positions they may need. Supervisor Lisa Green-Douglass said this advanced planning would be a way to help the board better meet the departments’ needs.

How to expand the county attorney’s office was also discussed. Plans call for hiring another assistant attorney but the current office does not have enough space to accommodate the expanded staff.

A few options were debated, including renting or buying an existing building near the courthouse, temporarily moving them to the Health and Human Services building or constructing a new facility on existing county property.

The supervisors eventually decided to simply leave room in the budget for capital improvements and decide at a later date what exactly the new attorney’s office is to look like.

“It’s good people are talking about options. We need to know what they are and what they cost,” said Supervisor Rod Sullivan.

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