Citizen concerned about high county jobless rate
By STEPH TAHTINEN
Mt. Pleasant News
With unemployment rates high in Henry County (7.6 percent in January, according to Iowa Workforce Development statistics), resident Dean Hamilton wants to see more action from local government.
“We’re beyond an emergency. We have families struggling, and it’s disgusting that we see inaction at every level of government,” Hamilton told the Henry County Board of Supervisors during their meeting on Thursday morning.
According to Hamilton, local government is not doing enough to help create jobs and promote economic development. He said that he is surprised that this issue is not on the agenda for the supervisors or area city councils or school boards.
“I see nothing on the county supervisors’ agenda,” said Hamilton, who noted that it should be discussed twice a week. “The inaction, or the action that we’ve done, is not working.”
Hamilton said that a committee needs to be formed, and if he has to, he will do it himself.
“When it will turn around is in our hands,” said Hamilton.
He said that if the supervisors do not have the answer to solve the unemployment issue, they should bring in people who can help, innovative thinkers who know how to develop communities and create jobs.
“You have the opportunity to be the heroes of Henry County,” he told the supervisors.
He also noted that the county needs to have a tax incentive plan to attract new businesses. Currently the county does not offer tax incentives.
Supervisor Chairman Gary See noted that economic development is taking a larger role each year, and that unemployment is difficult. He added that there are efforts being made and that there are companies that have looked at and considered coming to Henry County.
“There is activity,” said See. “Has much happened? No. But there is activity.”
However, activity without results isn’t good enough, argued Hamilton.
“How many more years do we go where we’re creating activity and there’s no result?” he asked. “We’re beyond the point where we need results.
In other business, the board of supervisors
Appointed Harold Pollmeier to the safety committee
Approved a rental property lease with Mertens Rental Properties for the Juvenile Probation Office on North Jefferson Street. Rent has increased from $600 to $625 per month.