State appeal board hears arguments surrounding Sioux County budg - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

State appeal board hears arguments surrounding Sioux County budget

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The state appeal board of Iowa was in Orange City Thursday to hear arguments surrounding Sioux County's budget. The state appeal board of Iowa was in Orange City Thursday to hear arguments surrounding Sioux County's budget.
ORANGE CITY, Iowa (KTIV) - Representatives from Iowa's State Appeal Board were in Orange City, Iowa Thursday for a special public hearing.

That hearing focused on questions about the county's budget, and allegations about county workers.

A petition challenging Sioux County's approved 2014-2015 budget, brought the state appeal board to the Sioux County courthouse.

The group behind the petition is the New Broom Society of Siouxland, which says that there are multiple purposeful errors in the budget, and that fair comment by the public was prevented.

Harold Postma of the New Broom Society of Siouxland claims that Sioux County should have been in the hole by nearly $4-million before, he says, it added $10-million to make the budget appear balanced. The "New Broom Society" says that $10-million was made up. "By adding in that $10-million that doesn't exist, they have deliberately misled the public," said Postma.

County board chairman Mark Sybesma's response to the allegations was more confusion, than concern. "It's very difficult for me to understand, because I don't know where they're getting their figures," said Sybesma.

Postma says those numbers come from "an auditor's report." But, the New Broom Society also claims an abuse of power on Sybesma's part that limited the public's ability to question where that $10-million came from during budget hearings. "As soon as someone literally opened their mouth to ask a question about the almost 10-million that was added to the budget in order to make it appear balanced, the chairman Mark Sybesma interrupted, looked repeatedly toward the tazer-armed deputies and stated, "this is only about the budget," said Ron Van Ravenswaay, New Broom Society of Siouxland.

But, Sybesma notes that budgets can be difficult, and that the New Broom Society's agenda has nothing to do with the county's budget.
"This budget hearing is not about the budget," said Sybesma. "It's about perceived injustices that a few people have experienced in the past."

During Thursday's meeting, Sybesma took the panel through the increases in the current budget, but the New Broom Society claimed that those increases were irrelevant to their petition.

The New Broom Society also requested the sheriff's and county attorney's budgets to be reduced, and for the salaries of supervisors to be cut back, citing poor job performance.

But Sybesma defended his county, saying that he would put his officials up against any the state has to offer.
    
The panel expects a decision to be made on April 28th.
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