WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Mike O’Connor – Lee County Board (D. 5)

Oct 22, 2012

Mike O'Connor (R-Keokuk) says he entered the race for the District 5 seat on the Lee County Board of Supervisors because of the recent consolidation of four county offices.

He currently currently represents the 1st Ward on the Keokuk City Council.  During his two terms on the panel, he has chaired the police and code revision subcommittees and served as liaison to the Keokuk Municipal Airport and the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission.

O’Connor says he has no problem with consolidation, if it improves services and saves money.

“What they call consolidation was simply cutting services to both Fort Madison and Keokuk,” says O’Connor.  “To me, the definition of consolidation is to join something together and strengthen it, not taking something apart and make it weaker, and they have definitely weakened the services that they provide to the citizens, in particular the citizens of Keokuk.”

O’Connor says he would push for the Lee County Treasurer’s office to be open 2 days/week in Keokuk and 2 days/week in Fort Madison.  He says the office could be closed 1 day/week if savings are needed.

O’Connor says he questions whether the treasurer’s office is actually saving money through the consolidation of offices.

“When elected, I would not mind seeing the (state) auditor complete an audit of the treasurer’s office to see how much of a savings there is,” says O’Connor.  “If there really was some savings, then I would like to see how to fund services (in Keokuk.)”

O’Connor says he would push for weekly board meetings to return to the North Lee County Office Building in Fort Madison and the South Lee County Courthouse in Keokuk.  They are currently held at the Lee County Jail near Montrose.

He would also like to see the Lee County Conservation and Health Departments consider existing sites as opposed to building a roughly $4-million joint facility and

O’Connor says he does support the upcoming expansion of the Lee County Jail and the incentive package for Iowa Fertilizer Company while opposing the idea of extra-territorial zoning.

District 5 basically forms a triangle on a map, stretching from Keokuk’s Main Street to the northern city limits to the Mississippi River.  There are also a few blocks near the River City Mall that are included.