Before the Jasper County Board of Supervisors could vote on any actions during its Wednesday morning meeting, its newest member and its longtime incumbent needed to be officially sworn into office.
Brandon Talsma stood up from his seat, raised his right hand and recited the words spoken to him by Jasper County Auditor Dennis Parrott. The newcomer to public office pledged to support the constitutions of the United States and the state of Iowa, and to faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of the office of supervisor to the best of his ability.
Upon his swearing in, Talsma said he was looking forward to a “fun filled next four years” serving the county. After Talsma, supervisor incumbent Denny Carpenter, Jasper County Recorder Denise Allan, Jasper County Treasurer Doug Bishop and Jasper County Attorney Scott Nicholson were sworn in, the first order of business was to organize the new supervisors roster.
Previous Jasper County Supervisor Chair Doug Cupples nominated Carpenter as the next chairperson to lead the board’s weekly meetings. Talsma seconded the motion and voted alongside Cupples to elect Carpenter as the new chair. Outvoted, Carpenter smiled and said he was abstaining his individual vote toward the matter.
Afterward, Talsma then nominated Cupples as vice-chair of the Jasper County Board of Supervisors. All three members voted in favor of the motion, electing Cupples to his new role. Cupples decided to carry out his previous duties as chair during the Wednesday meeting. Carpenter will take over as chairperson at the next board of supervisors meeting.
A sizable meeting agenda proved to be an active first day for Talsma, who offered comments and a first-hand perspective regarding a public hearing about a possible road vacation, among other budget items. Seeing a board of supervisors meeting unfold from another side of the room was an interesting experience for the first-time county official.
“It was different being on the other side that’s for sure,” Talsma said. “I’m about the same as after the election. I’m happy and I’m looking forward to serving all the people of Jasper County.”
As the youngest member on the board, Talsma said he is likely to bring a “youthful point of view” to area issues and can adequately represent the rural parts of Jasper County. Now that he is on the board, Talsma said he would like to address the county’s lack of an updated comprehensive plan — something that is already planned for a work session after the next supervisors meeting Jan. 8 — as well as the continued issues with the Annex Building.
“Hopefully we can actually address that situation and get a thorough evaluation of that building done and … come out with a game plan of how we’re going to proceed with that,” Talsma said. “I didn’t really run with an agenda, I don’t think. And I didn’t really come here with an agenda. I’m pretty open minded. We’ll see.”
Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or firstname.lastname@example.org