CAFO seeks to expand in Floyd County; Veterans Affairs OKs van fee; and County Board discusses members letters, opinion writing

CHARLES CITY — Expansion of a confined animal feeding operation in Pleasant Grove Township is on the Floyd County Board of Supervisors agenda Tuesday, April 24. The meeting begins at 9 a.m.

According to the agenda, the board is expected to set a date and time for a public hearing on a construction permit application for a 2,508-head deep pit swine finisher confinement building. It would be built at an existing CAFO for Powersville Site/McCandless Family Pork, LLC in section 26 of Pleasant Grove Township.


In other Floyd County news:

• The county board is also expected to vote on a liquor license application for Derailed Corporation, 1406 Hwy. 218N, Floyd.

• The Floyd County Veterans Affairs Commission on April 16 approved charging $40 per person for a van ride to all VA appointments.

• The County Board was scheduled to further discuss letter and opinion writing by its members. Below is the unofficial minutes of the previous discussion on April 10 when County Board Chairwoman Linda Tjaden raised the issue regarding Supervisor Mark Kuhn’s writings. Tjaden and Supervisor Doug Kamm are Republicans on the board. Kuhn is a Democrat.

“Supv. Tjaden stated with line item regarding updates on boards/activities since last meeting she wanted to address an item of concern. She had a letter that was sent to Senator Joni Ernst by Supv. Kuhn. She has received in the past questions from people of the community and phone calls from the Legislature in regards to letters to the editor and guest editorials that have been signed by Mark Kuhn, Board of Supervisors. She has been questioned if these are the opinions of the entire Floyd County Board of Supervisors. She stated that she would like to make sure that this is a line item on the agenda so that letters being sent out, that the entire Board has knowledge of the letter and are in agreement with what is being stated. Wants to make sure we are not miscommunicating or giving an impression out to our citizens and that we are taking a stance on certain issues.

“Supv Kamm stated he had talked with Supv Kuhn about this in the past with a similar instance. That if correspondence is sent with BOS letterhead with a signature on it, the three of them should talk about it. We are all one of three. Should be careful on how things are signed as either Mark Kuhn, citizen or Mark Kuhn, BOS. Supv. Kuhn wanted Supv. Tjaden to explain what letter she is referencing was about and if specifically there was something that Supv Tjaden disagreed with.

“Supv Tjaden read the entire letter, which was an invitation to Joni Ernst to meet with Floyd County residents, Jeff & Gail Swartzkopf at their home which is located near Rudd close to a CAFO, on Joni’s 2018 99 County Tour of Iowa. Supv. Tjaden stated wasn’t disagreeing with the letter just wants the entire Board aware of these letters being sent.

“Supv Tjaden also referenced letters to the editor or guest editorials that are signed Mark Kuhn, Floyd County Board of Supervisor, that citizens aren’t getting confused into thinking that what was written is the opinion of the entire Floyd County Board of Supervisors.

“Supv Kuhn stated that he had received a response from Senator Ernst’s office. Senator Ernst is trying to accept this invitation. Supv Kuhn wondered if Supv Tjaden and Supv Kamm will have decided by that time to participate in something like this. Supv Kuhn stated that in regard to letters to the editor or guest reviews or columns that are put in the CC Press he is not going to give up his 1st amendment rights because I am a member of the Floyd County BOS. Supv Kuhn’s stance in regards to changes to the Master Matrix is one that both Tjaden and Kamm also took. Both of you are on record to your support for changes to the Master Matrix. Supv Kuhn’s two long columns were very definitive on my position on that.

“Supv Kamm stated that he thought Supv Kuhn had twisted this around. This is regarding transparency. Supv Kamm stated that he had been to a meeting a couple years ago and was blindsided there. There was a gentlemen at the meeting that was applying for a job that had an endorsement from the Floyd County BOS that Supv Kamm had never seen before. It would have just been common courtesy that if you were going to use this letterhead with the BOS name on it.

“Supv Tjaden stated that this is really what she is looking at too. Supv Tjaden had been notified by one of our Legislature’s that they had received a letter on our letterhead in regards to conversations that you were having with them. I was called up and asked if I was in agreement with what is being said. Supv Tjaden said she had no idea what was being said.

“Supv Kuhn wanted to know if they were in agreement with the letter. Both Supv Tjaden and Kamm stated that you didn’t give us the opportunity to say so before Supv Kuhn had written the letter. Supv Tjaden said we need the transparency just to make sure that we as a BOS are in agreement on what direction we are taking.

“Supv Kuhn stated that just so you know I am not giving up my 1st Amendment rights as a member of the Board of Supervisors. I will feel free to express my opinions. It is up to the CC Press if they want to put Floyd County BOS. You can ask the Editor as he is here how that is dealt with. Often times they solicit letters from County staff people. You can feel free to write them if you like. Supv Kamm stated that if he did so, he would not use the letterhead unless he asked. Supv Kuhn questioned that the total objection is to using the letterhead, which Supv Tjaden and Supv Kamm agreed that it was.”