By Jim Magdefrau
VINTON – Staff action for the sheriff’s office, Christmas lights, open records and mental health in Benton County were the topics for the Benton County Board of Supervisors at their meeting Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, at the service center in Vinton.
The board approved the hiring of Katlyn DeBrower as a part-time sheriff’s deputy. The board acknowledged the resignation of Lydia Close, communications specialist at the sheriff’s office. They also approved changing the employment status of Dennis Eden to senior corrections officer.
The board approved outdoor Christmas lights for the courthouse. There was discussion on how the lights are anchored to the courthouse. The county will have the expense of putting them up, taking them down and the electricity. Supervisor Richard Primmer made the motion to approve the lights. It was approved. Primmer was not sure if this would get done this year, and there are still some unanswered questions.
The board discussed and approved the amended and substituted county electronic services system 28E agreement. Benton County works with Iowa County on this through the recorder’s offices.
An open records request was discussed by the board, regarding Oct. 15 security footage. Primmer said there is a policy for this. He said information is to be kept confidential unless ordered by a court. The supervisors are not the governing board on whether or not the information is to be released. Primmer said the policy emphasizes going through proper channels for this.
Jean Ohlen met with the board regarding public mental health. She told about the building she purchased one year ago in Van Horne, called Chances and Consequences. She also talked about the impact of compulsive gambling. She also discussed substance abuse and depression, as well as protection of children. She invited the board to visit the building in Van Horne. Ohlen also talked about parent cafes and protective factors. She urged the board to spend more and do more for mental health in Benton County. Ohlen added she is a family peer specialist, as well as a registered nurse. She is helping another nurse do a study on Benton County. They also talked about transportation. Primmer said the board appreciates the work that Ohlen is doing.