Still no lease, but time to make excuses


By now, you may have figured out that the non-profit referred to in the preceding post was Prospect Meadows.  I have nothing against Prospect Meadows.

I do have something against the Board for allowing a non-profit to occupy County office space without a lease, without proper insurance, without a hold harmless agreement, and without remitting a payment for 12 months.  If you’re a taxpayer, you should have something against it, too.

And now, a citizen complains to the Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board and Supervisor Oleson blames the failure on an assistant to the Board (Gage), an attorney who is no longer with the County (Clark), and Steve Gannon – the County Engineer.

Now anyone who knows Mr. Gannon knows 1>  He is fiscally tight with County resources/funds and 2>  He goes “by the book” – no deviations.  And I was told that he and his staff have been asking for a lease for months without any results.

Here’s the complaint to the Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board.  You will notice that Supervisor Oleson wrote that I was “misinformed”.  You should also know that the County still has no lease with Prospect Meadows and they are still in the County Engineer’s building.

***********************************************************************************************************************************

From: Oleson, Brent

Monday, May 04, 2015 8:24 AM

To:  Vander Sanden, Jerry; Jarvis, Gary

Board of Supervisors; megan.tooker@iowa.gov

RE: referral of a potential issue

Gary:

Jerry forwarded the below complaint regarding Prospect Meadows. I am an ex-officio non-voting member of Prospect

Meadows. I didn’t have anything to do with the formalities of securing the office space other than to suggest it since it

was vacant and not being used and in close proximity to the actual future site. Darrin Gage, Jeff Clark, and Steve

Gannon were to handle the particulars and I believe had come to an arrangement although it was not in written form

(may have been a casualty of the Jeff Clark termination). In any event, absent a written lease the Code of Iowa provides

a default month-to-month tenancy. Prospect Meadows didn’t receive “free” office space. Steve Gannon was insistent

to my knowledge that electricity and other utilities be paid in proportion use and space among other remuneration. This

is yet another, in a long line, of false and misinformed Joel Miller charges. I will copy Megan Tooker on this email chain

and make myself available to her via cellphone at 319-350-5620 to answer any and all questions.

Brent Oleson

Linn County Supervisor

********************************************************************

From: Vander Sanden, Jerry

Sent: Monday, May 04, 2015 6:29 AM

To: Jarvis, Gary

Cc: Board of Supervisors

Subject: FW: referral of a potential issue

Gary:

I believe you were working on this matter. Do you believe there are any issues of concern that need to be addressed?

am forwarding this email to the BOS as well because I wanted them to be aware about a matter of concern that has

been raised (see inquiry below). Jerry

Jerry A. Vander Sanden

Linn County Attorney

Linn County Courthouse

Cedar Rapids, IA 52403

(319) 892-6350

******************************************************************************

From: Tooker, Megan [IECD] [mailto:Meqan.Tooker@iowa.gov]

Sent: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 3:32PM

To: Albers, Diane

Subject: referral of a potential issue

Mr. Vander Sanden,

I am the director of the Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board. From time to time, I receive calls from individuals who

wish to discuss ethical issues involving county or local government. I always explain that the Ethics Board merely has

advisory authority over county and local government ethics and the county attorney is tasked with the responsibility of

handling complaints alleging conduct of county or local officials/employees which violates chapter 68B of the Iowa

Code.

A concerned citizen recently called me. He reported that a non-profit group called Prospect Meadows occupies Linn

County office space at the Secondary Roads office building on County Home Road. This concerned citizen believes

Prospect Meadows has been in the county office space since March 2014. He requested a written lease agreement and

evidence of rent payment from the county auditor and was told there is no record of an agreement or the payment of

rent by Prospect Meadows. This concerned citizen believes Supervisor Brent Oleson is on the board of Prospect

Meadows and is the county individual who authorized the use of the office space by Prospect Meadows. This concerned

citizen believes there is no record of the Board of Supervisors formally authorizing the use of the space by Prospect

Meadows.

I encourage you to look into this matter and determine if there is a conflict of interest (Iowa Codes 68B.2A) or other

issue with this arrangement. I am not in a position to determine whether these allegations are in fact true or (assuming

they are true) to determine whether it is permissible for a county to provide free office space to a non-profit

organization.

I checked Prospect Meadows’ website. It lists its address as the Secondary Roads office building. Supervisor Oleson is

not listed as a board member although this concerned citizen claims Supervisor Oleson used to be listed as a board

member. Also, I checked the Secretary of State’s business filings for Prospect Meadows. Supervisor Oleson is not listed

in any of the filings but the Secondary Roads office building is listed as Prospect Meadows’ address.

http://www.prospectmeadows.com/vision/board-directors/

http:/lsos.iowa.gov/search/business/%28S%28i0snjs3c34jgv0jrinsnhpuw%29%29/filings.aspx

Feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss this matter or any other matter with me. Thank you for your time.

Megan Tooker

Director and Legal Counsel

Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board

510 E. 12th Street, Suite 1A

Des Moines, lA 50319

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