116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The three-member Linn County Board of Supervisors is leaning toward appointing a county attorney rather than call a special election to replace County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden.
Vander Sanden, county attorney for 11 years, announced this week he will retire at year’s end.
Supervisor Ben Rogers, a Democrat, told The Gazette an appointment makes more sense, given the amount of time left in Vander Sanden’s term and given that only one person — First Assistant County Attorney Nick Maybanks — has expressed interest in the job.
“Appointing makes more sense since there’s only a year left in the term,” Rogers said.
Vander Sanden, 64, a Democrat, announced his retirement during a county department head meeting Tuesday morning. He also recommended that county supervisors appoint Maybanks to the position.
“Nick is the only one in this office that intends to run,” Vander Sanden told The Gazette on Tuesday. “He will make an excellent county attorney if chosen.”
Supervisor Louie Zumbach, a Republican, said he needs to meet with Maybanks next week but thinks, in general, an appointment makes sense.
“It’s quite costly to hold a special election when there’s only a year left of the term,” Zumbach said. “I don’t want to say one way or the other for certain, but if everything checks out with Nick, I am leaning that way.”
Supervisor Stacey Walker, a Democrat, said he, too, is also leaning toward an appointment.
“That’s where I’m at right now. It makes sense fiscally,” Walker said.
“I’d be more inclined to support a special election if there was a significant amount of time left, but there’s one year left so it makes more sense to make an appointment,” he said. “It’ll save taxpayer dollars and keep the office running smoothly.”
Walker said he’s known Maybanks for several years.
“It makes sense if we were to make an appointment, it would be someone with immense knowledge of the office already, and it is obvious that Nick Maybanks has that kind of knowledge and leadership ability.”
Any appointment can’t be made until Vander Sanden actually leaves the job, Rogers said.
“We can’t appoint until there’s a vacancy,” Rogers said. “Once we know what date he will retire, we can call a meeting for that day.”
Comments: (319) 398-8255; email@example.com