Your Riverside Forum

1/28/2015 Progress Report

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progress report turtle sillouhettte progress report rabbit silouhette stop sign

New information is in bold/italic font or otherwise noted.

Items in red are of immediate concern

Completed items are struck through, then removed the next week

You can call this living in the past. You can chastise because it does not focus on the positive. Yes we have town celebrations, yes paint and flower pots dressed up downtown, the roof on the shelter at Railroad Park was replaced, etc., etc. Some of these things make me very proud to live in Riverside. Do you know what else makes me proud to live in Riverside? My neighbors, my friends, and those people who are willing to stand up and hold people accountable. Because they believe, like my son said,

“I like this town, ‘cause it’s ours.”

I want to show how important this list is to some people (not necessarily in the way you think):

Submitted on 2014/09/15 at 10:29 pm (Click on the hyperlink to the left to see the full exchange)

Tom. Please add the fact that a city council person got fired from their job for sending a fake bomb to a middle eastern war veteran who was a co worker and a former bomb tech. This has never been discussed. Kind of sad we would treat a veteran in to such a childish manner. Everyone has skeletons, don’t be selective if you really are a journalist. Check the sex offender register or how about a parent leaving a severely Austic child alone with younger siblings while the parents are working or attending a meeting. Sound familiar? Those who live in glass houses should check out the facts before jumping on a crusade.

That is how important it is to some people that this town does NOT progress.

REPORT

Boise Court- January 27, 2015: Washington County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to vacate the road. This requires some clarification. The “annexation and rezoning of Boise Ct.” was denied at the June 16, 2014 meeting, even though it is part of the comprehensive plan

Employee committee’s input on Open MIC-gate

Council response to Rogerson’s grievance filed for breach of contract.

Audit status (the previous audit/special investigation had regular updates)     The Forum has made inquiries; they are unable to provide a date of completion.  

Council Member Ralph Schnoebelen’s admission that he caused the need for not only the change order for K & E Flatworks in the amount of $1250 for re-grading on Sycamore/22, but also for the future expenses for the reseeding.

Council Member Bob Schneider’s apology to the citizens and Ms. Kirkwood for misleading them regarding his/his wife’s records request for employee pay stubs (Schneider used the words ‘we’ and ‘I’ when asking Kirkwood what was requested at the September 2, 2014 city council meeting [see the preceding post, under ‘Check Stub’])

Review/enforcement of the ordinance requiring fences around swimming pools (council members have to follow ordinances too)

Sidewalk added up on Ash from Sycamore to Buckeye.

Policy for their webpage (to avoid future censorship): A draft was submitted and approved by the council at the December 15, 2014 city council meeting.  There was another draft submitted that covered water bill inserts, newsletter and website.

Overtime report At the January 13, 2015  city council meeting, Kasdorf and Sexton reiterated their desire to receive this report; Rogerson assured them that they have it available.

40% OFF 1ST ORDER OF CHECKS, DEPOSIT TICKETS OR CHECK ENVELOPES

Junk vehicles- do I really need to explain this one?

Employees entering citizen homes without permission was never even addressed by the council or mayor, nor were responses returned to our inquiries ( http://wp.me/p2fxcp-4eL )

Freedom of Information: Certain members of the council are in complete denial and/or ignorant to this concept

Hwy 22 and Washington

Methodist church storm water issues Member from the Board of Trustees asked the council for help in repairs. The council accepted a bid for the work on this item at the November 3, 2014 Council meeting; they will assess this issue as well as a related citizen issue.

How long has it been since Community Visioning held an election for chairman?

At the June 16 RCCM, City Council Member Nate Kasdorf asked for Conservation Park rules and regulations, i.e.  hours to be on the next agenda. It was not ( http://wp.me/p2fxcp-4fJ ), nor was it discussed at that meeting.

Resolve fund balances Fall 2014 This is from the City Administrator’s Punch List; it was moved up due to it’s persistence

Cherry Lane This was moved down from the above list because it, while important to the expansion of the city, has not technically been avoided.

From the City Administrator’s Punch List

Meet with Washington Economic Development Group (WEDG) Executive Director, Ed Raber about residential development.

Fence on the east side of sidewalk of Conservation Park. Fall 2014

Primitive camping at Conservation Park Fall 2014

Amend TIF [tax increment funding] to include area in Roetlin Property 8/14/ Amend urban renewal plan to include north west corner of Roetlin’s property

Holderness property (See the October 6 city council meeting for Citizen Cathy Lindhorst’s take on this)

Geyer property (See the October 6 city council meeting for Cathy Lindhorst’s take on this)

City events- Address profit/loss of events when proposing future events [the latter statement is from the editor]

Develop working relationships with other communities

Complete evaluations/revise job descriptions

Review/revise employee handbook: In progress

Possible IDOT funds to work on sidewalks downtown

Develop ideas for Spring WCRF grant requests

 

Posted in Column, Community, Government Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Screwed, Lesson 28 Part I

screwed pic Nick Smith

PS_20140822114049The Greatest Show on Earth

BY NICK SMITH

LETTERS TO CAL-EM

A PERSONAL HISTORY OF HIGHLAND

“Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before.”   [Kurt Vonnegut]

When I was 10 or 11 years old, I was lucky enough to go to the circus. It was the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus extravaganza with three rings, sideshows, caged exotic animals, balloons, cotton candy, high wire acts and thrills galore. It was marvelous as the ringmaster announced each performance, raising his voice at just the right times to make the act seem exciting and dangerous.

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and children of all ages, welcome to The Greatest Show on Earth!

Welcome to the most extravagant extravagancy the human eye can behold, welcome to the stars of the most spectacular show in the world—every act, every animal parade presented to you in full regalia as the band plays. See the clowns, see the jugglers, see the acrobats, exotic animals and the high diver dive into a tank of water. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth!”

Oh, it was exciting, and the experience stays in my mind yet to this day. I was so taken by the “show” that I made up my own ringmaster-barker chant that I used to torment my little brother, Joe, with for years.

“Joe, Joe the dogface boy; he walks, he talks, he crawls on his belly like a reptile. He can hoochy down the road and can koochy like a toad. See his ears with your own eye; they’re so big he can fly. He eats rocks; he stammers when he talks; he has sticks up his nose and he licks his own toes. Come one come all, come look, come see—see Joe, Joe the dogface boy. He may be my brother, but he’s nothing like me. He’s a freak of nature, come on and see!”

Joey would cry and complain to my mom that I was singing the dogface boy song again, but like a good brother, the more he cried and complained, the more I tormented him with the song. Not only did I tease the poor kid with my ringmaster speech, but I used him to build certain acts for my own greatest show on earth. Once I tied him to a tree, and then proceeded to throw knives at him, trying to outline his body with the knives. That’s how he got a scar on his neck just under his chin. I rigged ramps for jumping, convincing him to sit in between so I could soar my bike over his head. That’s how he got that scar over his left ear.

I loved playing circus.

I attended a couple other circuses during the mid-two thousands representing the Highland Community School District. The first was the extravaganza put on by Dr. Willard (Bill) Daggett, CEO of the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE). His work is HUGE here in Iowa where he is treated like a rock star of enormous stature. One might say he is the Elvis Presley or Mick Jagger of the education world. His emphasis is on rigor, relevance and relationships and has been so popular in Iowa that those buzzwords are everywhere in every school and in every education conversation throughout the entire state when anyone talks about student achievement and school improvement. The department of education has even paid him thousands of dollars to come speak to them about his philosophy, which I suspect he borrowed from Bill Gates or maybe visa-versa.

Oh, my God is he a great speaker. He’s dynamic, persuasive, charming and full of goose droppings. I’m not saying that there isn’t merit in his message; much of what he says make perfect sense and has actually been followed by educators for years long before Mr. Daggett started his company or became the in-service guru for public education. He takes the information and packages it in a way that makes it sound urgent and necessary at the moment. He is very good at what he does, and I defy anyone to remain stoic during one of his fantastic shows. He is so popular with the Iowa Department of education and the legislators that most of the Iowa common core comes straight from his rigor and relevance and relationship handbook. Iowa has also paid him thousands of dollars over the years for speeches and his involvement in teacher professional development.

Mr. Daggett, however, has some problems with the truth; in fact, he out and out falsifies information in order to support his particular philosophy, but you might do that too if someone was willing to pay you $10,000 for a daylong seminar and didn’t care if what you said was accurate just as long as you were tearing down the current educational system and trying to replace it with some sort of “reform.” For example, Daggett said in his speech, “We are the only industrialized nation on the face of the Earth that thinks that you teach biology and chemistry as separate courses. Biochemistry universally, across the globe, is seen as one in the same.”

Henry Duckworth, a biochemist at the University of Manitoba, however, said Canada teaches chemistry and biology separately. “High schools are doing right to teach chemistry as such (separate), so that students get the basics before they turn to the vastly more complex molecules that you have to deal with in biochemistry,” said Duckworth. In addition, Kazuo Tachibana, a chemistry professor at the University of Tokyo, said Japan also teaches chemistry and biology separately. England also teaches chemistry and biology separately. Daggett further extended his argument by saying the United States is isolated from the international community because most US schools do not require physics to graduate from high school, while 79 other nations require at least one year of physics to graduate. David Robitaille, international coordinator of the Third International Math and Science Study and a professor at the University of British Columbia, contradicted Daggett’s assertion. He said he knew of few nations that required physics to graduate from high school.

The merits of some of Daggett’s message could be debated, but his entire message is called into question when he uses fictitious studies and unverifiable statistics. For example, to illustrate how American students quickly lose what they are taught, Daggett cited a massive Harvard study.

“Harvard just completed, for the second year in a row, a study of 2,100 high schools across the country,” Daggett said.   “They took the top two ranking academic students (who had graduated the previous year) from those 2,100 high schools; they asked those top two students-2,100 high schools, 4,200 kids in total–to sit with the ninth graders in the same building as the ninth graders took their final exams last spring in three courses; social studies, math and science. Eighty-eight percent of those kids failed two of the three.”

Douglas Winsor, special assistant to the dean at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, said he could not find the study.  How can this audience know that his story about Harvard bringing the top graduates back to take tests is a total confabulation? The mere invocation of the word ‘Harvard’ gives the figment credibility. He’s as charismatic as he is dishonest.

Former US Assistant Secretary of Education Chester Finn said education consultants are common. He said there is little quality control and it is easy for school officials to be taken. “A lot of it (educational consulting) is a scam, because the people who get hired don’t really know much or don’t meet the needs they are being hired to address or, in a few cases, are themselves frauds,” said Finn. “There’s so much emphasis in the field (education) on ‘professional development’ and ‘in-service,’ and so many dollars rolling around for those purposes that it’s easy for this racket to flourish.

Daggett said in the “The Washington Post” that his inaccuracies were a result of a long day on his feet.

Specific claims:

He testified before a congressional committee that was looking at the Goals 2000 initiative.

FACT: Head Senate Librarian Greg Harness said, “I am confident he never testified before Congress.”

“Twenty-nine nations in the world require four years of technical reading and writing to graduate from high school.”

FACT: David Robitaille, international coordinator of the Third International Math and Science Study and a professor at the University of British Columbia said, “I’ve never heard of such a thing,” and said none of the countries he has studied have such requirements.

In 1996, 62 percent of the colleges in this country-the community colleges-did not require a high school diploma for admission.

FACT: Renee Gernand, who is in charge of the College Board’s database, said 75 percent of the two-year schools require a diploma for admission, 98 percent of four-year schools require a diploma. She said, “My data on this is very good. I don’t know where he got his numbers.

Fifty-four percent of the students in Arizona attend charter schools. Twenty-four percent of the students in California attend charter schools.

FACT: According to the California Department of Education’s website, 9 percent of all students are in charter schools, Director of Charter Schools Administration in Arizona Lyle Skillan said currently 4.2 percent of its students are in charter schools.

“There is one college in America this fall that has 600,000 students enrolled, which is eleven times larger than (University of ) Phoenix and you know what it is? It is called Western Virtual University. It started only two years ago.”

FACT: Only 180 students are enrolled, Director of University Affairs at Western Governors (formerly Virtual) University Amy Tejral said.

“At this moment, in the Antarctic, Stanford University has a laboratory, where they are growing tomatoes in 20 degree below zero temperatures, outside. And they’re going to full flavor and texture without freezing,” to North faculty.

FACT: Arthur Grossman, a professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford University, said this “doesn’t sound plausible at all” and he knew of no such program.

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My oldest daughter, Heidi, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Carolina Complete Care, which is the fourth largest medical facility in the world. She is married to a young neurosurgeon. She is in charge of eight hospitals including Baston Children’s Hospital, Duke, and John Hopkins.

FACT: Carolina Complete Care has four doctors on its staff: an internist, a family physician, and two chiropractors. It does not run any hospitals. Heidi is married to one of the chiropractors; she is the office manager.

There’s no argument about the rigor, relevance and relationship framework from what I can see other than its emphasis is it excludes a large number of curricular items that I think are worth saving, like literature, music, art and industrial technology courses to name a few. Teachers have always followed this framework, as far as I know, as a matter of practical application to any lesson plan. The problem, once again, is that many [especially in Iowa] view this framework as the panacea savior of education, and it’s not.

At Highland, we over worked the entire idea to death until it was eventually abandoned for some other one-size-fits-all program for school improvement. We called the framework diagram “quadrant D” (from the Bill Gates lingo), then required that every lesson plan contain a quadrant D ending. That demand, of course, was impossible and impractical because not every lesson even lends itself to quadrant D (complex higher order thinking skills from Blooms taxonomy) completions. Some lessons, by necessity, must remain in the knowledge and information (quadrant A) section because that knowledge is needed later, along with other information, to reach the quadrant D level. I’ve reprinted the framework (below), taken from the International Center for Leadership in Education web page, so that you may see for yourself how the concept works and how application to every lesson is ridiculous..

The Rigor Relevance Framework®

The Rigor/Relevance Framework is a tool developed by the International Center to examine curriculum, instruction, and assessment along the two dimensions of higher standards and student achievement. It can be used in the development of both instruction and assessment. In addition, teachers can use it to monitor their own progress in adding rigor and relevance to their instruction, and to select appropriate instructional strategies for differentiating instruction and facilitating higher achievement goals.

The Knowledge Taxonomy (y-axis) is a continuum based on the six levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy, which describes the increasingly complex ways in which we think. The low end involves acquiring knowledge and being able to recall or locate that knowledge. The high end labels the more complex ways in which individuals use knowledge, such as taking several pieces of knowledge and combining them in both logical and creative ways.

The second continuum (x-axis)—created by Bill Daggett—is known as the Application Model. A continuum of action, its five levels describe putting knowledge to use. While the low end of the continuum is knowledge acquired for its own sake, the high end signifies action—use of that knowledge to solve complex, real-world problems and create projects, designs, and other works for use in real-world situations.

screwed picscrewed pic 2

Cal-Em, despite the exaggerations of the ringmaster, the circus is still a marvelous and unique type of entertainment, and despite the exaggerations and partial truths of Bill Daggett, the rigor, relevance and relationship framework for instruction is still the most marvelous methodology for instruction that I’ve seen. It’s not new, and it didn’t originate with Bill Daggett, far from it, but he did put the idea into understandable terms and has promoted its virtues all over the nation. He has taken what good teachers always did and packaged it in a framework of understanding, and I applaud him for that.

Unfortunately, what Highland did with the information was incorrect, poorly administered, weakly understood and finally discarded. What a shame. If we had spent a little more time on the message and less time on the messenger, we would have been much more successful with the method. That’s what I’m afraid of with the Iowa core curriculum. The Iowa Department of Education seems to be so in love with the messenger that they are failing adequately to understand the message. I personally used the framework throughout my entire teaching career, although, I must admit I didn’t have a name for the methodology until it was popularized by Daggett. You must remember, however, that this method is only one part of teaching and should be used at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner along with other methodologies if instruction is to be successful. I especially like the way it fit with Blooms taxonomy of higher order thinking and the Hunter method of planning.

Standards based instruction for curriculum and assessment created by the federal government or the state in the form of common core typically tend to emphasize specific subject matter content and basic skills to be mastered at a specific grade level for each subject. This is not what rigor, relevance and relationship is all about. Though the standards (common core) call for “critical thinking,” in reality the standardized tests used for assessment are unable to assess anything near “critical thinking.” A multiple choice-fill in the bubble test cannot easily lend itself to much more than the lowest common denominator. Additionally, the pressure on teachers to cover tremendous amounts of subject matter that will be randomly cherry-picked for the high stakes test, usually prevents them from spending the time needed to help students think carefully about, construct an in-depth understanding of, and communicate adequately the complicated content and skills that the standards (core curriculum) subscribe.

The point of rigor, relevance and relationship is to help students work with and use knowledge, rather than simply reproduce it on a test. The idea is to build deep understandings about a subject and then applying those understandings to questions, problems and issues in the student’s life. How does a test measure that? The key here is to keep the concept of curriculum and the concept of testing separate. Curriculum is what the teacher teaches or facilitates. Testing, or core standards is what students are expected to know and demonstrate at a particular (grade) level. The common core cannot be the curriculum because the curriculum is much more complicated than the core can ever assess. We need to get these differences straight before we connect the dots. The emphasis on achieving test score targets and meeting an endless list of proficiency levels actually undermines the authentic intellectual mission of the school by lowering the outcomes to “testable” items rather than true intelligence.

I think it will be difficult, Cal-Em, for our schools to truly educate our students because the emphasis of government is on the wrong path. They want to use core curriculum to build standardized tests in order to provide pseudo-accountability, not build a curriculum where students actually learn to use the knowledge and skills acquired in their own lives. We are going in the wrong direction.

Heaven help us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Column, Community, Government, Guest Post, Op-ed, Opinion, School Tagged with: , , , , , ,

1/26/2015 City Council Meeting

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City Volunteer Kelli Schneider has been recognized for her dedication to the city through her in 500 hours of volunteer work and has been entered into the 500 Club. Kelli donated her volunteer award money to the Community Building fund. Rogerson said she has donated the largest amount to the fund.

Rescinding of vacation of alley Council Member Kirkwood asked if the city contacted the property owners regarding the vacating of the alley. City Administrator/Economic Development Director Rusty Rogerson said he sent a letter, but it was not certified so he was not sure if it had been received. One of the residents affected by the vacating, Tim Geerlings, said he does not believe that was the fact. Neither he nor the other residents of the alley were contacted regarding the vacation.

“We never got it….we never received anything, so don’t even buy that for a second,” he told the council, adding “I don’t want things to start out with, basically lies.”

Geerlings said the vacating process was not done by the book. He has nothing against Mayor Bill Poch or Rogerson. As a result of the vacating of the alley, he said there are too many cars parking in the alley. Geerlings said he found out about the vacating of the alley after speaking with the mayor, a year and a half later. Kirkwood said we had to vacate by ordinance, now we are going to flip it back. Rogerson said this was drawn up by the city attorney, so it is legitimate. Rogerson does not recommend the city vacate the alley again. Geerlings is in a hurry to get it vacated, and wants to know what the process is and how long it will take to get things official. Rogerson said it will be filed this week at the Washington County Recorder’s office. Approved, 5-0.

Toward the end of the meeting, Rogerson and City Clerk Lory Young read prepared speeches on their benefit to the city and what they feel has been perpetrated upon them (both of which, along with the entire meeting, are available at the city’s Ustream page). A complete summary will be provided in a separate post, but included such things as Rogerson’s implementation of programs for children and that council person Nate Kasdorf falsely stated that the fund balances he received before his (Rogerson’s) arrival were correct and that IRS penalties had been forgiven, contrary to what Kirkwood said at the previous meeting. Young requested that the false statements about her cease. Poch (comparing the lack of expression of appreciation for the office staff to that for the fire department), Council Members Ralph Schnoebelen and Robert Schneider said they appreciated Rogerson and Young’s dedication to the city of Riverside.

Custom Invitations and Cards

Public hearing on proposal to enter into general obligation fire truck acquisition loan agreement. Citizen Mike Meinders said the ladder truck would be a win/win for the people of the district. Rogerson informed the council that City Attorney Bill Sueppel and George Oster of George Oster and Associates (Fire Protection and Emergency Services Consulting firm) advised the council to wait to make a decision until after they hash out the responsibilities of the city and the fire department at a yet to be determined work session. As per the January 15 work session, there will be another work session during which Oster, the fire department and members of the townships in the district, will hash things out. It was approved 5-0. During the January 15 work session, there was disagreement as to what they should use going forward: an ordinance (neither signed nor dated) which would give the city control of the money and its allocation or a 1968 agreement held by the fire department that would continue to delegate that responsibility to the fire department). March 10 is the last date of the price guarantee for the truck.

Grants Rogerson recommended the tabling of the grant four grant requests (aside from the ones discussed shortly, Pawz and More and Riverside’s History Center were also requesting grants). After looking at the hotel/motel tax, he feels they have to make other considerations and feels a budget discussion is needed before approving the grants. The council heard two of the requestors during the meeting.

Riverside Area Community Club: The club is asking for $35,630 (includes Trek Fest- $18,630; Fall Rodeo- $15,000; Fall Haunted Trail- $1000; Christmas lighting contest- $1000). Schnoebelen asked if the city providing $35K is a wise choice. This amount is up from $26,500 from last year.

Schnoebelen asked if the rodeo made money last year. RACC Treasurer Becky LaRoche said the rodeo cost $13,500 and the grant they received from the city was $10,000. RACC also donated approximately $700 to the community center. LaRoche said that with the city’s grant, the rodeo made about $4500 (See the numbers, which include the rodeo: 2014 Riverpalooza’s Profit/Loss Redux). La Roche said:

“Without out the grant, we would have been in the hole, big time.”

Schnoebelen asked if it was worth it to the city. Meinders said it is worth it. He said the rodeo last year was well attended and feels it was a success. “The turnout was phenomenal.” Schnoebelen doubts whether providing such a large grant is a wise idea, especially since they are trying to raise money for the community building.

Camp Highland: The coordinators are asking for $10,000 for partial funding of the $25-30K a year program. Becky Harkema of the YMCA and Megan Allen (program coordinator who is handing the camp’s operation over to the YMCA) spoke about the 9 week program (June 1 through July 31, Monday through Friday 9am to 4pm with before and after care available) that will provide kids (alternative Kindergartners through fifth grade) with a wider variety of activities. Kasdorf and Kirkwood said they need to wait until they discuss it in a budget session.

K and N final payment and acceptance (completion) of Lift Station 3 in the amount of $4772 passed 5-0. The council voted to advertise for summer help, 5-0.

 

 

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Public Hearing re: Boise Ct

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Washington County to Hold Public Hearing Regarding Boise Ct. Riverside

by Kevin Kiene and Tom McLaughlin

In case you didn’t know, there is a public hearing at 9:30 AM in the Board of Supervisors Room in the basement of the Washington County Courthouse Tuesday January 27 regarding the vacation of Boise Ct. in Riverside. Boise Court is the abandoned dirt road from the Riverside city limits to Highway 22 west of the city limits. Development along Boise Court was considered a possibility in the Comprehensive Plan, and the council decided to further explore options of Boise annexation at the March 4, 2014 meeting.

At the March 18, 2014 council meeting, City Administrator Rusty Rogerson said he had communicated with concerned residents regarding the property, and informed them that there will be a public hearing on the matter (the only public hearing we can see is the one tomorrow at the Board of Supervisors) and that the county will be providing information to the city. At the July 1, 2013 council meeting, Rogerson said he was hesitant to add another annexation to the list (at the time, there were two outstanding annexations). He said that the County engineer and auditor said that the city needs to annex the road and that it perhaps was going to turn it over to the owner.  In a later conversation with Washington County Engineer Jacob Thorius, PE, he said “I have had some conversations with Rusty about this and the last thing I was told was the city talked about annexing the road and that was not a priority or where they were going to focus their resources.” The motion to assign the annexation process to City Attorney Les Lamping for completion in 30 days was approved, 5-0. On 9/3/13 Hart- Frederick Engineering had prepared plat maps of the affected properties at a cost to the city of $2923.

At the 6/16/14 city council meeting, Citizen Kevin Kiene said it is part of the comprehensive plan and that this is an opportunity, and that the city needs to take advantage of the “golden opportunity” by annexing it and keeping it there for the future.  City Council Member Ralph Schnoebelen agreed, but said just because they annex it doesn’t mean the city will get it; they need an agreement with the County first to guarantee that the city has access to the area. The motion to approve annexation and rezoning of Boise Ct was denied, 1-4, Council Member Christine Kirkwood voting yay. Schnoebelen stated that Boise Court would be a good place to run water and sewer lines to the west, but voted no on the resolution.

However, at the same meeting, the council voted 5-0 to give the Administrator authorization to proceed with annexation of 114th St (The road north of Travel Mart).

Why can’t the city leave Boise Ct. closed like the county has? The city decides if a road is a road or just another piece of property. A future Riverside council will look back and see that this was a mistake by 3 members of the present council.

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Posted in Community, Government, Informative, News Tagged with: , , ,

1/26/2015 Sheriff Report

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Report is for Ainsworth and Riverside 

1/19/2015 1500477 8:48 ALL OTHER THEFT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: 3184 HWY 22 RIVERSIDE

CALLER REPORTS SHE HAD TWO POOL CUES STOLEN FROM THE RIVERSIDE CASINO ON SATURDAY 1/17/15. ONE IS CUSTOM MADE BY JAMES VEST AND THE OTHER IS A MCDERMOTT BRAND. APPROXIMATE VALUE $500-$1000. 92-15 SPOKE TO THE CALLER. REPORT TO BE FILED.

1/20/2015 1500502 8:52 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: 220TH ST & TULIP AVE AINSWORTH, IA 52201

CALLER REPORTS A ROLLOVER ON 220TH ST AT TULIP AVE WEST OF HWY 218. SUBJECT IS OUT OF THE VEHICLE AND UNINJURED. 92-15 RESPONDED. LIC/BVV749 CITATION ISSUED TO THE 17 year old male driver from MORAVIA. OFF/DRIVING UNDER SUSPENSION. MOORES RESPONDED TO TOW THE VEHICLE AT THEDRIVER^S REQUEST. OVER $1500 DAMAGE, STATE ACCIDENT REPORT FILED.

1/20/2015 1500504 9:20 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: RIVERSIDE RD & 180TH ST RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

Vehicle ROLLED OVER AND IS ON ITS WHEELS IN THE DITCH, NO ONE IS AROUND & PERSONAL ITEMS ARE INSIDE THE VEHICLE. || 92-17 LOCATED DRIVER AT THE RESIDENCE, THEY WILL MAKE THEIR OWN TOW ARRANGEMENTS, PERSONAL ITEMS FROM THE VEHICLE TURNED OVER TOHER.

1/20/2015 1500512 17:45 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: VINE AVE & 220TH ST AINSWORTH, IA 52201

VEHICLE VS DEER ON OLD 218 S OF G36 || VEHICLE WAS DRIVABLE WITH FRONT END DAMAGE. NO INJURIES.

1/20/2015 1500514 18:15 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: 200 E 1ST ST RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

CALLER REPORTS A HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT IN THE CASEYS PARKING LOT IN RIVERSIDE. THE SUSPECT VEHICLE IS A MAROON OR RED VAN. 92-7 RESPONDED AND LOCATED SUSPECT VEHICLE AT THE OWNER^S RESIDENCE. INFORMATION EXCHANGED. Driver of hit and run vehicle  VS PARKED. The driver of the drive off vehicle was given a A CITATION FOR NO INSURANCE ACCIDENT RELATED.

1/21/2015 1500531 9:21 ALL OTHER THEFT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: VINE AVE & HWY 92 AINSWORTH, IA 52201

REPORTS THEIR CHEVY BLAZER, WITH A SNOW PLOW ON THE FRONT, WAS PARKED NORTH OF THE OLD FOUR CORNERS RESTAURANT AND SOMEONE TOOK ALL 4 NEW WHEELS OFF OF IT AND THE SNOW PLOW. REQUEST A DEPUTY. SPOKE WITH THE CALLER. REPORT TO BE FILED.

1/21/2015 1500532 10:42 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: 192ND ST & VINE AVE AINSWORTH, IA 52201

REPORTS A DRIVER FOR THE SCHOOL HIT A DEER NORTH OF THE POWER STATION ON VINE AVE. AIRBAGS HAVE DEPLOYED, & THEY HAVE SOMEONE FROM THE SCHOOL ENROUTE TO TAKE HER TO THE HOSPITAL. REQUESTING MOORE^S TOW THE VEHICLE. @ 1051 HRS CALLER REQUESTED THE DRIVER BE TRANSPORTED VIA AMBULANCE. AD55 RESPONDED & TRANSPORTED DRIVER TO UIHC, ARRIVING AT 1141 HRS. DAMAGE OVER $1500. STATE ACCIDENT REPORT TO BE FILED.

1/22/2015 1500568 14:29 INTIMIDATION/HARASSMENT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

REPORTS SHE HAS BEEN RECEIVING HARASSING POSTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA SITES FROM A SUBJECT. //92-8 SPOKE WITH BOTH PARTIES AND ADVISED THE SUBJECT TO CEASE CONTACT WITH THE COMPLAINTANT.

1/23/2015 1500589 9:45 TRAFFIC STOP SERIOUS

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: HWY 218 & RAMP RAMP RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

V/S ON N/B ON RAMP TO 218. || 92-8 ARRESTED:31 year old femal from Riverside for  POSSESSION OF METHAMPHETAMINE, POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA, POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. BOND $1300. 92-17 TRANSPORTED SUBJECT TO WASHINGTON COUNTY JAIL ARRIVING AT 1121. VEHICLE TOWED BY RON^S AUTO BODY TO RON^S AUTO BODY 319-648-2669 & ENTERED INTO THE SYSTEM. RELEASE WHEN AUTHORIZED BY DEPUTY WEBER. SIN/2487777

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1/23/2015 1500590 10:05 WARRANT ARREST

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

92-8 REPORTS HAVING A SUBJECT IN CUSTODY WHO IS WANTED ON A WARRANT OUT OF WASHINGTON COUNTY. || 92-8 ARRESTED:45 year old male from RIVERSIDE for POSSESSION OF METHAMPHETAMINE, POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA AND POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. BOND $2300. SUBJECT TRANSPORTED TO WASHINGTON COUNTY JAIL ARRIVING AT 1026.

1/23/2015 1500595 12:26 SEARCH WARRANT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location:HWY 218 & RAMP RAMP RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

SEARCH WARRANT EXECUTION IN THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE ON A VEHICLE AT HIGHWAY 218 N/B ON RAMP FROM HIGHWAY 22. LOCATION CHANGED AT 1256 TO 80 W 2ND ST IN RIVERSIDE. ||92-12 92-8 & 92-16 RESPONDED, SEARCH WARRANTS EXECUTED. REPORT FILED. EAKES,STEPHANIE PAULINE CHARGED WITH 2 COUNTS OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE VIOLATION WITH INTENT TO DELIVER.

1/23/2015 1500601 17:17 FIRE CALLS

Agency: Fire

Location: RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

REPORTS A CHIMNEY FIRE AT A RESIDENCE. FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONDED AND EXTINGUISHED THE FIRE. RIVERSIDE FIRE WAS PUT ON STAND BY BUT WAS NOT NEEDED.

1/25/2015 1500636 2:58 DRUG/NARCOTICS

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: VIOLATION

1178 ENTERPRISE DR RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

OUT WITH A VEHICLE IN THE KUM N GO PARKING LOT, RIVERSIDE. ARRESTED:44 year old female from CEDAR RAPIDS for POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE AND POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. FEMALE SUBJECT INCARCERATED WASHINGTON COUNTY JAIL, ARRIVING AT 0324. VEHICLE TO REMAIN IN THE PARKING LOT TONIGHT.

1/25/2015 1500639 8:31 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: 2676 HWY 22 RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

VEHICLE IN THE DITCH DAMAGING A STATE ‘CURVE AHEAD’ SIGN || Driver female from Kalona. VEHICLE WAS LEFT AT SCENE. STATE DOT CONTACTED REFERENCE DAMAGE TO SIGN. OVER $1500.00 DAMAGES. STATE REPORT TO BE FILED.

1/25/2015 1500640 10:00 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: 3306 HWY 92 AINSWORTH, IA 52201

P UNKNOWN ROLLOVER POSSIBLE TRAP || FAIRFIELD STATE HAD A TROOPER ON SCENE WHO ADVISED IT IS A PD ONLY, THEY WILL HANDLE THE ACCIDENT. ALL UNITS ADVISED TO DISREGARD.

1/25/2015 1500641 11:24 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: 1075 VINE AVE RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

VEHICLE IN DITCH KEYS STILL IN AND LIGHTS ARE ON. NO ONE AROUND. VEHICLE IS ON IT^S SIDE. || 92-8, 92-19 AND RON^S TOWING RESPONDED. Male driver from WELLMAN CITED FOR NO DL

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1/26/2015 City Council Agenda

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Screwed, Lesson 27, pt. II

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PS_20140822114049When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Screwed

BY NICK SMITH

LETTERS TO CAL-EM

A PERSONAL HISTORY OF HIGHLAND

 

Last time, Cal-Em, I was relating a situation that happened at Highland that unfortunately is replicated in schools across this country.   Some people believe wholeheartedly that certain students are entitled to special treatment by virtue of their athletic ability, extra-curricular talents or parental pedigree. Almost always it is the teacher that ends up getting screwed, but we must remember that other students are affected by the teacher’s treatment and the situation.

This is the letter he sent to the superintendent.

 Dear Superintendent Montz:

I thought it would be permissible to bypass “channels” on this occasion. I’m terribly disturbed by the number of students on the 3rd quarter ineligibility list. 46 students is not only 1/3 of the student body!!!, but if you assume more than half of our students are A or B level students, it means WE’RE MAKING INELIGIBLE 80% TO 90% OF THE REST. To make ineligible that unbelievably high a percentage of all the students that aren’t dean’s list type kids is ridiculous.

Perhaps Xxxx Xxxxx’s situation sheds some light on how this is happening, beyond the difficulties all teachers face in a situation where many of the kids aren’t planning on attending college or don’t strive for academic achievement. Leaving aside completely the issue of whether he indeed did hand in on time the paper he is alleged to have never done, and which, if timely, would make him eligible, my understanding is that even without that problem, he would still be eligible if he’d received a better grade on “participation”. I’m not denigrating the reasons behind rewarding participation but surely there’s something wrong when a kid who’s never been ineligible before, wants to go to college, is in his last quarter, and is made ineligible in a situation where I’m never told he’s failing to do anything he’s expected to do, when his biggest failure stems from an inherent personality trait, his shy and reticent nature. So a glib kid gets a better grade for something that’s easy for him and requires no ability or effort and a wonderful shy kid from a tradition where talk is less valued than action, who’s also a little bit lazy academically, is ineligible because he just can’t grasp the worth or the concept or can’t make himself do it?

Here’s an undeniably great kid, never in trouble, from a good family, hoping to leave the farm and go to college, and doing a great job as a leader on a basketball team where his teammates like him and need him, and he’s made ineligible, without any warning to me, my assistant coach or anyone else that might have been able to reach him, because he finds it inconceivably difficult to speak up? And this from a teacher who, by all accounts, is a sports fan and excellent teacher? How many kids have been judged even more severely by teachers who aren’t sports or extracurricular activities fans or not as excellent of a teacher? This picture is wrong.

I  think ample cause exists to let Xxxx do some extra work to be eligible and to prove he cares about being eligible and cares about academic progress without such a step indicating academic standards are not being upheld. I’d advocate on his behalf if that’s wanted or accepted.

Thank you for your past and continued support and consideration of my comments. I know you take your job very seriously and I feel bad to add to your burden in any way. You are very highly thought of by people I respect and while you may not be able to do anything about this particular situation, I know you care. Surely these outrageous numbers of ineligible students allow you purview to investigate individual cases to try and determine a cause for the overall epidemic. While the Board or your office shouldn’t tell a teacher what to do, with regard to grades, some may feel it appropriate for him to feel free to substitute alternative sanctions to ineligibility, in such a case of a close judgment call. Xxxx should bear some responsibility of course and punishment is appropriate for his failures but punishment that only affects him and not his teammates might be considered more fair.

Please do not hesitate to contact me in any manner. Again, my most sincerely thanks.

Sincerely,

Randy Larson

 

Note: Talking in class is only a small part of participation. Working with others in groups to solve problems or discover basic elements of a text are necessary activities that students need to participate in, not sit with arms folded and refuse to engage at all. All students in my classes knew and understood the grading criteria, and they all knew and understood the consequences for not doing their work. I could always modify any assignment except for the assignment not completed. There is no way to modify a zero.

 

The following was my response and explanation to the superintendent.

Perhaps the following will help shed some light on the situation for Mr. Larson. Let’s pretend that I’m not an English teacher. Let’s pretend that I’m a basketball coach. I’ve got two weeks (10 days) to prepare my players for the rigors and the challenges of a real game. I establish a practice schedule designed to provide the skills, stamina and knowledge needed for the players to participate in the games. I have plays and defensive strategies they will need to be knowledgeable of for them to play their best. Additionally, I must be sure each player is in shape so they can withstand the rigors of the game, avoid injury and reach their potential. Everything is going fine for the first week of practice, but in the second week of practice, one of the players—let’s call him Rick—decides he’s not going to practice anymore because he’s not interested in practice. Rick comes to practice at times without his shoes. When I ask him to take part in drills, he refuses or gives a half-hearted effort. He won’t listen to what I have to say. When I ask the team to run ladders or shoot free throws, Rick either doesn’t do it or he participates a little in a lame attempt to appear that he’s doing something. I even try to give Rick a second chance and tell him that if he has a good practice tomorrow, I can dress him for the game.

Rick says he’ll do the job, but he doesn’t show up for practice the next day. When I announce the starters for the team, Rick is not one of them. During the game, several players are used, but Rick is not. Rick’s mom is in the bleachers, and she’s mad as hell. After the game she confronts the coach, demanding to know why her son isn’t starting–why he isn’t even playing. I explain, but she won’t listen. Later the kids talk to their English teacher—let’s call him Randy—who declares that this situation is ridiculous. “The coach,” he says, “is using subjective participation to determine his starting players!”

Randy goes to the superintendent of schools and complains about the coach’s treatment of Rick. Meanwhile, mom has contacted her sister who is president of the school board. A trap disguised as a meeting is set for the coach. Mom and the school board sister try to intimidate and harass the coach into starting Rick. The coach cannot because Rick isn’t prepared for the rigors of the game, however, if he comes to practice and participates to the fullest of his ability, he will have a chance to play. This isn’t good enough for angry mom or school board president-aunt. They call the coach to a board meeting to answer for the crime of following the policies the board wrote and approved over the objections of the entire teaching staff and the administration. Additionally, the school board president-aunt puts pressure on the administration to declare the coach incompetent and allow Rick to be a starter.

In the brief parody above, I think it’s obvious that the coaching staff must use a subjective evaluation of their player’s participation in order to select, promote and play their athletes. In fact, I would contend that 90% of their evaluations of their players are based on the athletes’ participation in practice—much more than an English teacher would ever use in a class. To belittle the practice in other areas is hypocritical.

Other concerns that should be answered follow on the second page.

First there is no third quarter ineligibility list—the quarter hasn’t ended yet. Forty-six students would represent about 23% of the student body, not one third, and I suspect the list also included the middle school, lowering the percent to around 15% of the student body. I do agree that this is very high, however, you might recall how the teachers opposed the no pass/no play policy two years age. You might also remember that last Spring I talked to the board alone and was vehemently chastised for even suggesting such a change for the good of our students. The policy remains, and I fear that the legislators will pass a similar no pass, no play policy statewide. I’m sure we’ll see ineligible students in the 35 to 40 percent range at that time. The participation requirements for my class are essential if the students are going to learn to be independent learners able to face the rigors of college work. Why would a student take an elective college course if they didn’t want to do the work as assigned? If a student wants to go to college, they’d better prepare for the journey. Talking is not the only criterion for participation.

Notification of coaches concerning the academic standing of their players was taken out of the hands of the teachers several years ago. The athletic director is directed by policy to do the informing. It seems that some coaches in the past didn’t want to be bothered or troubled by the teaching staff. They pushed for a change in policy with the understanding that teachers would leave coaches alone.

I never let extra-curricular activities influence my decisions. I never judge children: I do record their grades and report them at the end of the grading period. I cannot let Xxxx do extra work to be eligible because it would be in violation of board policy. My big mistake was giving Xxxx the benefit of the doubt and a second chance. After his paper lost in the black hole of cyber space excuse, I gave him an opportunity to still turn in his paper for full credit. He didn’t take advantage of that opportunity. It just goes to show: no good deed goes unpunished. I would certainly love the freedom to substitute alternative sanctions to ineligibility rules, but that freedom is not available. Board policy does not allow for any wiggle room on student eligibility.

I hope this clears things up a little. Let me know if there’s any information you need.

 

N.A. Smith

 

Finally, in a meeting with the student’s father, his board president uncle and the school administration, I presented the following statement, which ended the siege but cost me dearly later on when some people got their revenge against me.

I have recorded all grades earned by each student as accurately and honestly as possible. I have followed all policies and procedures prescribed by the Highland Community School District’s Board of Directors, and I have followed all state and federal laws, rules and regulations to the best of my ability. I take grading very seriously—as seriously as my reputation, my good name and my career, which have now been besmirched by members of the community and the coaching staff. Additionally, I am not able to change a grade for purposes of eligibility, nor will I change a grade due to harassment or coercion. It is a violation of my right to academic freedom and my freedom of speech rights guaranteed me by the Constitution of the United States of America to request or force me to change a grade. Based on the sixth circuit Federal court’s decision of 1989, Parate vs. Isibar, citation: 868 F2D 821, the administration may change the grade if they wish, but I cannot change the grade. Furthermore, should the administration change a grade, which is their prerogative, they and the Highland Education Association are ethically required to report the grade change to the Department of Education, the Public Employee Relations Board and the Iowa High School Athletic Association for review.

The demand that I change the grade was dropped after I read this statement. The school administration was furious with me, the boy’s father was furious with me, the basketball coach was furious with me and the boy’s uncle-school board president was furious with me. The board president left the room swearing revenge and letting me know that I’d be sorry for not giving the boy a passing grade. He wasn’t kidding either; six years later he made good on his threat, getting his revenge against me. No one was happy over the situation. The parents, the administrations, the coach, the board president, the boy and I were all unhappy and disgusted. I was especially sad that this young man had to suffer the ineligibility during his last basketball season, but, at the same time, he did bring the consequences upon himself by not doing the assignments as required. I think the young man was misled by his father and his uncle and his coach, causing him to become arrogant in his attitude; thus, rejecting the opportunity to finish his assignments and become eligible.

There is little that a teacher can do in these situations other than stick by their integrity and follow the policies established by the school board. As a group, the high school teachers at Highland tried to persuade the school board and the administration that the changes in eligibility and the reporting of students in academic difficulty was a bad decision for students. I was even sent alone to a board meeting armed with arguments against their revisions of the policy, but the school board and the administration would not listen to or even consider our point of view. When the new policy created a situation that was truly unfair to the student, the blame was heaped upon the teacher. I certainly didn’t want to hurt this young man, nor did I wish to hurt the basketball team, but I was ethically and contractually obligated to follow the policies set by the board, even though the school board and administration are extremely lax in following their own policies if it is inconvenient for them. The eligibility policy took away any wiggle room available to the teacher, and the reporting policy took it out of the teacher’s hands and placed it with the administration; they dropped the ball, not me.

The father was angry that he hadn’t been notified; however, I sent three notices to the home and kept all the information up to date on the schoolmaster reporting program. If the father would have come to parent/teacher conferences, he would have also been informed early in the quarter. I don’t know what happened to the three notices I sent by mail, but the father told me he was too busy to look at his son’s progress on the schoolmaster pages. He was very angry that I hadn’t phoned him. Perhaps that was a mistake on my part, but we had been informed that people didn’t like us phoning them. For years, I tried to call every parent at least once per year, spending many Saturdays at the school on the phone to avoid long distance charges on my own home phone. Most people were fine with the call, but there were some who took extreme umbrage to my calling them, especially on a Saturday or Sunday. I, frankly, was called every name you can think of for calling about their children. Several parents told me that they didn’t come to school and bother me, so I shouldn’t be bothering them at home. After several complaints to the superintendent, I stopped calling parents unless there was no other way to reach them.

When a new superintendent was hired the next year, certain people assured that the label of “trouble maker” was firmly presented to the new administrator. The business manager and the school board president were leaders in making sure that the new superintendent understood who I was and what a horrible person I was. Most of the school board members were completely convinced that I was nothing but a problem because they had constantly heard what a horrible person I was for many years. The board president intensified efforts to discredit me and vilify me whenever possible. The concept of group polarization became most evident over the next few years—the entire school board and school administration resolved to harass me out of the school. In the final analysis, in my opinion, they did just that.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Column, Community, Government, Guest Post, Op-ed, Opinion, School Tagged with: , , , ,

01/19/2015 Sheriff ‘s Report

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Washington County, Iowa: Ainsworth and Riverside

1/12/2015 1500298 9:55 VANDALISM

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

SOMETIME LAST WEEK ON WED OR THURS THE CALLER^S MAILBOX WAS KNOCKED OVER. SHE HAS SPOKEN TO THE CITY MAINTENANCE CREW AND IT WAS NOT A SNOW PLOW. REQUESTS DOCUMENTATION.

1/12/2015 1500299 10:42 ANIMAL COMPLAINT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

CALLER REQUESTS A DEER TAG FOR A DECEASED DEER ON HWY 22 BETWEEN RED OAK AND REDWOOD. 92-8 RESPONDED AND ISSUED A DEER TAG TO RIVERSIDE resident.

1/13/2015 1500333 15:44 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

CALLER NOTICED DAMAGE TO HIS VEHICLE RIGHT REAR QUARTER PANEL. UNKNOWN WHERE THE VEHICLE WAS WHEN IT WAS STRUCK. //92-8 ADVISED. DOCUMENTED.

1/13/2015 1500341 19:45 WARRANT ARREST

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: 3184 HWY 22 RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

REPORTS BEING OUT WITH A SUBJECT WANTED ON A MUSCATINE CO WARRANT. //92-14 RESPONDED. MUSCATINE EXTRIDITED SUBJECT FROM THE RIVERSIDE CASINO. NO LOCAL CHARGES.ARR:24 yearold female from LONE TREE, IACHGS: CRIMINAL MISCHIEF 2ND, ASSAULT ON A PEACE OFFICER, ASSAULT ON A HEALTH CARE WORKER. BOND:$5,000.00

1/13/2015 1500342 19:56 TRAFFIC OTHER

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: HWY 218 MM 83 RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

CALLER REPORTS A PROBLEM DRIVER STOPPING ON THE ROADWAY AND ALL OVER THE ROAD. UNKNOWN PROBLEM. //92-14 RESPONDED. JOHNSON COUNTY WAS ADVISED DRIVER WAS STILL IN THEIR COUNTY. DRIVER GIVEN A RIDE HOME. FAMILY WILL RETRIEVE THE VEHICLE FROM HWY 218 NEAR MM 83 SB TOMORROW.

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1/14/2015 1500357 13:49 ANIMAL COMPLAINT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

REPORTS HE WOULD LIKE A TAG FOR A DEAD DEER 1/2 MILE WEST OF RIVERSIDE ON HWY 22. DEER TAG ISSUED TO JARED MILLER OF WELLMAN.

1/14/2015 1500362 17:19 WELFARE CHECK

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

REPORTS A 15 YOA MALE RELATIVE AT HER MOTHER^S RESIDENCE AND REQUESTS A WELFARE CHECK ON MOTHER AND THE JUVENILE AS IT IS A VOLATILE SITUATION. //92-10 AND 92-11 RESPONDED. FEMALE AT THE RESIDENCE WAS STILL CONCERNED ABOUT THE SITUATION. INFORMATION WILL BE FORWARDED TO THE COUNTY ATTORNEY.

1/15/2015 1500385 13:35 DISABLED VEHICLES

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: N WASHBURN ST & E 2ND ST RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

REPORTS FOLLOWING UP ON A COUPLE OF VEHICLES THAT ARE STILL PARKED IN THE

ROADWAY SINCE THE SNOWFALL & HAVE NOT MOVED. CITY REQUESTS THAT THE VEHICLES ARE TOWED. RON^S WAS CONTACTED & TOWED BOTH VEHICLES. RELEASE WHEN TOW BILL PAID *VEHICLES CLEARED FROM THE SYSTEM DUE TO THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR WANTING TO WAIT AN EXTRA DAY*

1/16/2015 1500401 2:45 ASSAULT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: 3184 HWY 22 RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

DCI REQUESTING DEPUTY ASSISTANCE WITH A POSSIBLE ASSAULT INVOLVING MULTIPLE PERSONS. 92-14 RESPONDED TO ASSIST WITH DISORDERLY SUBJECTS. PROBLEM RESOLVED.

1/16/2015 1500411 15:25 ALL OTHER THEFT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

POSSIBLE IDENTITY THEFT WITH THE HEALTH MARKET INVOLVING HER AND HER HUSBAND.REQUESTS DOCUMENTATION. //92-10 ADVISED. DOCUMENTED.

1/18/2015 1500466 15:50 WELFARE CHECK

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: AINSWORTH, IA 52201

WELFARE CHECK ON 24 YEAR OF AGE MALE AT RESIDENCE HAD MADE THREATS TO HARM HIMSELF AND OTHERS || 92-10 MADE CONTACT AND SUBJECT ADVISED HE SAID THINGS OUT OF CONTEXT. NO PROBLEM.

1/18/2015 1500470 18:34 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: 1033 VINE AVE RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

CALLER REPORTS HITTING A DEER IN LIC/313ZNE. NO DAMAGE TO THE VEHICLE BUT THE DEER IS INJURED AND LAYING ALONG THE ROADWAY. 92-10 RESPONDED. DEER TAG ISSUED TO a TIFFIN resident.

1/18/2015 1500471 18:49 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: HWY 218 & 160TH ST RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

VEHICLE VS DEER || VEHICLE WAS DRIVABLE Driver from FAIRFIELD

OPERATOR GIVEN STATE ACCIDENT REPORT IF DAMAGE WAS OVER $1500.00

1/18/2015 1500453 0:33 DISORDERLY CONDUCT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: 3184 HWY 22 RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

CALLER REPORTS VERBAL ARGUMENT|| 92-18 & 92-10 RESPONDED SUBJECTS AGREED TO QUIET DOWN FOR THE NIGHT

1/18/2015 1500455 1:45 TRAFFIC STOP SERIOUS

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: HWY 22 & REDWOOD AVE

RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

VS || CITED: 18 year old from  WASHINGTON FOR O2 VIOLATION AND POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL UNDER LEGAL AGE. CITED: 19 year old male from WASHINGTON FOR POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL UNDER LEGAL AGE

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Oh audit! Where are you audit!?

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Riverside’s no stranger to audits. You would think we would know a little more about the process after almost  three audits in as many years. The present audit has been a nail biter of sorts, and that says a lot about Riverside. Regardless of our heightened desire to receive the results, inquires to the Auditor of Iowa’s office have been fruitless. We recently spoke with Jennifer Campbell, CPA and a Manager and Tami Kusain, CPA (in charge of the Performance Investigation Division) from State Auditor of Iowa Mary Mosiman’s office to get a better grasp not on specific dates of completion or what documents are still needed, but on the overall process needed to complete audits.

accountantAlthough they do not perform all local audits for governmental entities in Iowa, there is plenty to keep the State Auditors busy (An entity [any governmental body] can have their audit performed by the State or a certified public accountant firm). Checklists and program guides are available on the state auditor’s site and are approximately what is gone through on an audit. Usually used by auditors in the field, they are required by law to identify audit programs for all governmental entities.  The checklists and program guides are all encompassing, but not every audit is the same and the various differences could make a big difference in when the audits are performed. Scheduling and ensuring that the audits are completed comprise a lengthy process.

When it is the state’s responsibility,  they schedule audits for the year by looking at the various requirements and deadlines. Aside from all local governments having to be completed by March 31 barring extensions, they must consider whether an entity has an annual audit or other due date, say for a bond. Counties, school districts, state agencies, etc. receive annual audits. There are also requirements based on population and revenue.

Cities with a population of 2,000 and above are required to have an annual audit. If a city has less than 2,000 in population, then they go by budgeted revenues: $1mil or more in budgeted revenue, the city has an annual examination, which is more limited in scope than an audit; if they have  less than $1mil in revenues, then they have a periodic examination at least once every 8 years. For cities whose federal expenditures are above $500,000 (Fiscal year 2016, this amount will go up to $750,000), if citizens submit a public petition and  special investigations (which, as Riverside residents found out, is not the same thing as an audit, as they do not produce financial statements, nor is an opinion given on them). Special investigations are brought about by attorneys, government officials or CPA firms. All field work (data collection and analysis) is done onsite so the accountants can be face to face with the audited. Staff is then assigned according to size and time needed, and the field work begun.

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After the collection (including receipt of information not received in the initial investigation) and analysis are completed by the lead auditor, they provide the entity with an exit conference. An important aspect to remember of this step is that it is not a final presentation. In the case of a city audit, the auditor in charge (lead auditor) sits down with the city clerk, mayor and  council members in small groups (these are not held with a quorum because the information is still preliminary and confidential, as an upper management review has not been done at this point) and reviews the preliminary  findings. Given that this presentation is not final, there is still time to amend the report if the audited have come across information that was missed or not included in the initial process. In other words, they could very well find something new in the exit conference that might require extra attention.

So, the audit will be delivered soon. All we can really do is wait and periodically inquire.

 

 

 

Posted in Community, Government, Informative Tagged with: , , , , ,
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