May 18, 2022

Jasper County accepting applications for board positions

Applications are open until the end of January

With the New Year comes new opportunities for people hoping to serve their local communities.

During the Jasper County Board of Supervisors meeting on Jan. 4, elected officials were set to once again reappoint every member serving on the county boards and commissions. But Jasper County Supervisor Brandon Talsma spoke up to suggest another course of action.

Instead of swearing in everybody who is listed as members of different boards within Jasper County for another year, Talsma suggested the supervisors should open an application process for citizens to be appointed to the boards.

“I really just want to look more closely at our list of appointments,” Talsma said.

For the past several years, Talsma said the supervisors have kept reappointing current members regardless of their activity or interest in the board they sit on.

“In the past few years some people have just stopped showing up to meetings or have even died, but we keep appointing them cause we don’t have anyone else,” Talsma said. “I think that putting something together for the public to apply to sit on different county boards will help us fill in growing gaps.”

The other supervisors agreed with Talsma and approved his proposal.

As of Jan. 5, every county board has open applications, regardless if they have seats open.

Some of the boards with open applications include animal control and welfare, compensation, conservation, emergency management, health and library.

“We are looking to fill every vacancy and create a pool of qualified applicants,” Talsma said. “It’s always difficult to find volunteers who are willing to sit on these boards, so hopefully we’ll get a lot of applicants.”

Appointments to these boards will happen throughout the year. The first round of appointments is expected around Jan. 31.

“Some boards only meet once a year or less,” Talsma said. “I know that animal control only meet up when there has been an incident, so they can go five or 10 years without calling a meeting.”

Once all the applications have been filled, the supervisors will review them and determine whether the person applying would be a good fit for a specific board.

Even if someone applies and isn’t chosen to be appointed at the end of January, they shouldn’t be discouraged.

“We appoint people throughout the year. We’re looking to fill 12 positions at the end of January. But we will also be filling 15 more sometime in June,” Talsma said.

Anyone interested in applying can find more information on the Jasper County website’s board of supervisors page. The county will also be posting information and links to its Facebook page and other social media.

Contact Abby Knipfel at 641-792-4687 ext. 6531 or aknipfel@shawmedia.com

Abby Knipfel

Abby "Adler" Knipfel

Journalist at Newton Daily News. Currently covering Jasper County and writing passionate opinion pieces. They/Them