Winfield mayor expresses frustration with Iowa Board of Pharmacy
BY BRYCE KELLY
Mt. Pleasant News
WINFIELD — Winfield mayor, Chris Finnell, continued to urge city council members and local citizens to lobby for a telepharmacy in Winfield, despite the Iowa Pharmacy Board’s inability to push telepharmacy legislation forward in Iowa.
During his mayoral comments at Monday evening’s regular city council meeting, Finnell expressed to the council that he was still “very frustrated” with the Iowa Pharmacy Board’s lack of regard for the legislation the House, Senate and Governor have already passed.
“The Iowa Pharmacy Board is still the hang up to this and it’s beyond frustrating to me,” said Finnell. “The Board is still arguing that a limit should be set on how many prescriptions a telepharmacy can fill. Why a telepharmacy should have that kind of limit while a traditional pharmacy doesn’t is beyond me.”
Finnell went on to say that he believes the Iowa Pharmacy Board should honor the state legislators’ approval of Iowa telepharmacy legislation, but says he suspects the board might be acting out of personal reasons.
“I question if there are some on the Board who might have personal interests in telepharmacies not operating in Iowa, and that’s why this hasn’t been approved by them,” he said. “I don’t know if that’s true, but either way, I think they are doing towns like ours, who have put a lot of work in to getting a telepharmacy for the sake of our citizens, a huge disservice.”
Finnell ended his conversation on the matter by urging locals to continue to speak to their state government representatives about the need for a telepharmacy in Winfield so as to keep the conversation on the topic flowing.
Moving on to other matters, Finnell also spoke to the council about the possibility of forming a Winfield Junior City Council. According to the mayor, he has been in contact with other local educators about forming such a group to give local middle school and high school students some personal experience and a first-hand look at the inner workings of local government.
“At this point, this is just an idea that has been tossed around and discussed,” said Finnell. “Personally, I think it could be a really neat thing. I could see it being a way to teach volunteerism and civic mindedness to our kids.”
Council members said they would be open to talking more about such a council, saying they saw the learning opportunities it could provide.
“I think it could be a good way to promote community involvement,” said councilwoman, Jan Walter. “I’d like to hear more about it in terms of how it would work.”
In other news, the board:
• Set the new garbage rates at $16.50 per month for a regular rate and $15.50 per month for citizens 65 or older.
• Set a public hearing date for the 2018 budget estimate for March 8 at the start of next month’s meeting.
• Set the city deputy clerk’s salary at $13 per hour, which will take effect immediately.
• Approved the city’s request to begin looking for a pool manager to manage the upcoming new city pool. Once a manager is hired, he or she will assist the city in hiring lifeguards.
Finally, the board heard from Winfield City Police Chief, Jeff Dietrich, who is requesting a new police vehicle. According to Dietrich, the police department got bids for three different Ford Explorers, with the low bid coming in at $27,040.
“The current vehicle we are looking to replace has about 81,000 miles on it, it’s a 2006 model and it’s starting to have some issues mechanically,” said Dietrich. “I think it will get us by for a little while longer, but it’s time to look at replacing it.”
With a new vehicle unaccounted for in the current budget year, the council recommended that the vehicle be replaced during next fiscal year. However, if the vehicle should start to become unsafe or unusable for the department, the council asked that Dietrich bring it to their attention immediately so a replacement could be procured sooner.
The Winfield City Council will meet again on Wednesday, March 8, at 5 p.m., at the Winfield City Hall.