President-elect Myrene Hoover called the meeting to order at  7:10am. 

Chris Knapp led us in song.

PE Myrene said instead of the usual homily she would just announce the need for a greeter and dishwasher for next week; sign-up sheets were passed around. 

Sergeant-at-Arms report:

            Guests & visiting Rotarians: Chris Knapp introduced his guest, Tom Kriz, the speaker,  and Rotarian John Schultz from the Rotary Club of Iowa City.  Deb Ockenfels introduced Rotarian Jody Braverman from the Rotary Club of Iowa City.

            Make-ups:  Chris Knapp X 5; Vernette Knapp; Deb  Galbraith; Valerie Martin; Nancy Stensvaag; Deb Ockefels

Rotarians in the news Randy Willman noted Dave Parsons and Pam Ehly were both in the news.

Where in the world is Antarctica?:  Kris Ockenfels reported on Antarctica.  Though there are no full-time residents, there have been two Rotary clubs.  Neither club has continued to today.  Having traveled there and loved it, she noted only a few crazy people are there very long.  98% of the continent is covered in ice, which is 1-2 miles thick.  It is the coldest and driest continent.  She said it Is a beautiful country.


PE Myrene announced-

  •  the presidents of the local Rotary clubs will meet Friday, 9/18 at 10am at Village Inn.
  • Oct. 9 is the date for the Joint Service Club Luncheon; tickets are $15 and can be purchased from Mark.
  • a Fireside chat is in the wind

Brian Adamec talked about nuts for RYLA.  Orders can be placed; he encouraged using these nuts for business gifts.

Roger Christian noted the need for dishwashers for Sept.   Also, Jack Cameron will need help at the end of September with set up at 6am

Gary Hammond announced the receipt of $100 for Project Warm from a Cedar Rapids man who heard John Ockenfels talk at Sertoma.

Happy Bucks:  Deb Pullin VanAukenVernette Knapp; Peggy Doerge; Margy Winler; Mike Messier; Chris Knapp; Kris Ockenfels; Tom Novak; Deb Ockenfels ($1000 from Hills Bank for coats in honor of John);  and Andreas Soemadi were all very happy! 

Program:  Chris Knapp introduced Tom Kriz, Johnson County Treasurer, who would talk about the condition of the County.  Johnson County is in a sound financial state.  Our county does not experience the peaks and valleys others experience; the economy is very stable due to the strong economy around the University of Iowa.   The County  has an annual budget of $97.7M.  Of that, 30% goes to law enforcement; the courts and the sheriff’s office.  Another 30% goes to mental health; 10% to rural roads; and the rest to administration.  Of the administrative costs, 38% is salaries and benefits.  At this time, all union contracts are open.

Seeing a need for more expertise in finance as the County grows, a new Finance Department was created from three vacated positions in the Treasurers’, Auditors’ and Board of Supervisors’ offices.  Risk management is now being done in this new department.

Johnson County never borrowed money until 1999.  They keep the term of their borrowing to 3 years or less.  They started borrowing for operations with 60-90 day borrowings as a consequence of the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in the county.  TIF has impacted counties budget.  As treasurer, Kriz is fine with TIF since it fosters growth but it has had an impact of the budget. To lessen that impact, the County borrows short notes for operations.  Any monies encumbered for debt cannot be taken from County revenue by the body using TIF.  Some towns in Johnson County include their entire city in a TIF district.

Kriz advised everyone to look at their tax statement to see where their tax dollars go.  In Iowa City, about 45% goes to the City; about 40% to the school district; 15% to the County; and 5% to other taxing jurisdictions such as the area education agency.   With some of the property tax changes passed at the State level, the tax burden has shifted from commercial to residential. 

Kriz encouraged taking an active role in choosing those who govern regardless of party.  One of the biggest challenges is having collaborations between counties and cities.  He noted it can be done but requires the right people in the right positions. 

He closed with noting that you can shrink government and still provide services.  He has reduced his department and they still provide good service.

Q & A

What is take on sales tax relative to apartment tax changes?   Apartment tax changes will cut in half the income for Iowa City.  Commercial tax rollback change will shift to residential.  Ag land will start paying more.  As to sales tax, the City needs to make up some of the lost property tax somehow. 

Explain further borrowing and TIF:  Borrowing helps with TIF by spreading out the burden.

Collection procedure for those who do not pay, how is it done?  The third monday of June his office must sell “taxes” due; investors can pay taxes and get property.  99% of taxes are paid.

How does the County absorb a big loss in cases of tax disputes when an owner sues the County for taxes?  It is absorbed through reserves , but every jurisdiction has to cover any losses.

Chris thanked Tom for his presentation and Myrene said a book would be donated to a school in Tom’s name.

Meeting adjourned at 7:58 am


Minutes submitted by Karin Franklin.