The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors held a public reading for the 2010 Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) ordinance on Tuesday, and also entered into a heated discussion regarding proposed county time clocks with Sheriff Dave Scott and Larry Walker of Secondary Roads, with Scott warning the Board that this is "war."
After the public reading the Board approved the ordinance. A motion was made to skip the next two readings.
The Purpose of the ordinance is to assist county officials controlling the public health and safety issues created by the sale of food and other merchandise during RAGBRAI as it travels through Cherokee County on July 25.
The ordinance states any vendor wanting to sell or supply food or beverages or erect a temporary stand or distribution area, within 500 yards for the official RAGBRAI route in the unincorporated areas of Cherokee County, shall first obtain a Vendors Permit.
All Vendors shall have the temporary stand of distribution area assembled and prepared for inspection by 9 a.m. on July 25.
There shall be no stands erected on property owned by Cherokee County.
All commercial vendors and all vendors that provide alcoholic beverages must submit proof of general liability insurance coverage to the county when applying for a permit. Permits can be obtained from the Environmental Health Department. Prior to applying for a permit and stand operators must be granted written permission from the landowner to locate on their property.
Vendors applying for a permit shall be required to show proof of adequate insurance, necessary licenses, permits and comply with all laws rules and regulations by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals relating to and governing the sale of food consumption.
A Temporary food establishment fee shall be included in the vendor fee.
The fee will be used to cover expenses to Cherokee County for hosting the event. Fee for applicants denied will be refunded. The site must be completely cleaned prior to closure on the day of the event.
There are no fee amounts for non-profit organizations or any resident. Fee for Cherokee County commercial resident are $35 and non-county resident will be $100.
Vendors may purchase a permit on the day of the event.
To promote safety during RAGBRAI, all beverages sold within 500 yards of the official route in the unincorporated areas of Cherokee County by vendors shall be provided in non-glass containers only. It shall be a simple misdemeanor for any vendor to sell or supply food or beverages without obtaining a vendors permit.
Each separate sale or distribution shall be deemed a separate violation of the ordinance and each sale or distribution is subject to the maximum fine of $100 or 30 days in jail or both.
These penalties shall apply to the vendor, each person making sales or distributions, each person erecting a temporary stand or distribution area, and each person or entity allowing an illegal sale distribution or stand, on their rental or owned property.
In other business the Board looked over preliminary designs for the proposed Washta #1 Bridge project. Cherokee County Engineer Dave Shanahan informed the Board that has one estimate for the architectural design but would like to get a couple of more estimates. Board Chairman Jeff Simonsen agreed and stated that it doesn't hurt to get a couple more bids.
The Board, along with Scott and Walker, began a spirited debate over the Board's recent decision to begin looking into installing time clocks into county vehicles and all county departments.
According to Supervisor Dean Schmidt, "It's about accountability. We're not accusing anyone of wrong doing, in fact there are several examples of county employees coming to work 15 to 20 minutes early and this would insure they would get paid for their time. We're also looking down the road and trying to protect the county in case there is an issue of any employee who would make a claim against the county for payment not received. If they documented their hours and then come back onto the county expecting compensation we would have hard proof to negate any claims."
Sheriff Scott adamantly disagreed with the Board by saying, "If it's about accountability then why did the citizens elect me? I think this is a bad idea." Walker also agreed with Scott and added that it would be an irritation to the employees.
Supervisor Terry Graybill added that every place in the world uses time clocks to have accountability on hours worked.
Scott asked what the cost would on the time clocks.
Graybill stated the cost would be approximately $5 per unit.
"So you're going to spend $5 for every vehicle owned by the county, that money spent would be wasted. How is that accountability? That why the people elected us. To have that accountability."
Graybill stated that the clock would eventually pay for themselves over time by accumulating minutes added up and saving money by lost time.
"I still think this is a bad idea. If you go ahead with this, its war," warned Scott. Graybill then added, "So be it."
Walker then asked the Board that if they continued to go forth on the time clocks that he would like to be part of being involved and be able to give his opinion during the process.