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Polk County, Iowa

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Transparency grading process

Portions of this article were taken from Wikipedia

Polk County is one of 99 counties in Iowa. The population was 430,640 in the 2010 census, an increase from 374,601 in the 2000 census. The county seat is Des Moines, which is also the capital city of Iowa. Polk County is one of the five counties that make up the Des Moines–West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of Iowa county websites

This website was reviewed on December 21, 2011.

The good

  • Budget is posted.[1]
  • County supervisors are listed with contact information.[2]
  • Meetings are listed[3], along with agendas, minutes, and audio.[4]
  • Information on building permits is provided.[5]
  • Auditor's financial reports are available.[6]
  • Current and past bids are viewable.[7]
  • Tax levy rates are provided.[8] Property taxes can be paid online.[9]
  • Taxpayer funded lobbying efforts can be found as new contracts within each Board of Supervisor's agenda records.

The bad

  • Administrative officials' names and contact details are not provided.
  • Zoning ordinance for unincorporated Polk is not functional.[10]
  • Does not publish a comprehensive disclosure of membership in government sector lobbying organizations.
  • Information is not provided on how to file a open records request.

Budget

The County's FY 2011-2012 budget is posted online. According to the document, the County's largest source of revenue is from property taxes, of which it collects a net total of $128,051,542. Total revenues for the year were expected to be $257,485,126. FY 2011-2012 expenditures were budgeted at $261,785,917, leaving a gap of $4,300,791. The County began the year with a fund balance of just over $60 million, and ended with a balance of $56 million.[11]

Public Employees

Elected Officials

The County elects a five member Board of Supervisors. The Board meets every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 9:30 a.m. Its most important role is in crafting the county budget.Members are:[12]

Supervisor District Term Expires
Robert Brownell 1 2012
E.J. Gionvannetti 2 2012
Tom Hockensmith 3 2014
John F. Mauro 4 2014
Angela Connolly 5 2014

There are six other elected positions. They are:

Name Position
Jim Maloney Assessor
John P. Sarcone Attorney
Jamie Fitzgerald Auditor
Julie Haggerty Recorder
Bill McCarthy Sheriff
Mary Maloney Treasurer

Administrative Officials

The County does not provide details on administrative officials.

Salaries

See also: Iowa state government salary

Pay tables are available for department heads, as well as elected officials.[13]

Title Set Salary
Auditor $98,205
Board of Supervisors $96,764
County Attorney $166,926
Recorder $96,764
Treasurer $98,205
Director Community, Family, and Youth Services $110,618
Director General Services $117,560
Director Human Resources $110,854
Director Public Health $98,974
Director Public Works $132,115
Medical Examiner $218,907

Pensions

See also: Iowa public pensions

Employees participate in the mandatory Iowa Public Employees Retirement Service. They are also able to voluntarily participate in a 457 deferred compensation plan.[14]

Emergency personnel

Lobbying

See also: Iowa government sector lobbying

In 1999, Polk County reported $40,000 spent on lobbying.[15]

Transparency & public records

Taxes

Communities

Cities

Townships

External links

References