Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 22, 2018

Van Buren auditor Jon Finney to resign

Tied for longest-serving county official in state
By Rusty Ebert, Ledger correspondence | Jul 12, 2018
Jon Finney

KEOSAUQUA — Longtime Van Buren County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections, Jon Finney, turned in his letter of resignation during Monday’s meeting of the Van Buren County Board of Supervisors.

Finney’s last day in office will be Aug. 17.

Finney, who announced two years ago that this would be his last term as auditor, shares the longest serving county official in Iowa with the Greene County Attorney at 42.5 years.

Both were elected in November, 1976, following their earlier appointments to the position. Finney was appointed on Feb. 1, 1976, and the Greene County Attorney was appointed 11 days earlier.

Finney has the distinction of serving as acting Van Buren County Treasurer in 1986 and 2007, while also being auditor. Finney worked in the auditor’s office as clerk starting in June 1975, and then as a 23-year old, was appointed to complete the unexpired term of C. Delbert Scull.

“I have been very fortunate to have worked with a great number of dedicated public officials and employees over these years and have been blessed with the overwhelming support of the voters and citizens of our great county,” Finney said in his letter of retirement.

Supervisors accepted his resignation with regrets.

Finney has been credited with giving financial stability to a small county, which has allowed important services to be provided. He has served as trustee of the Heartland Risk Pool, a 10-county 28E organization, since 1991, and has been its secretary-treasurer since 1993.

Finney has overseen improvements to the facilities at the courthouse, including maintenance of the state’s oldest courthouse, without using any debt. Supervisors have relied on Finney’s knowledge and wisdom for guidance.

Finney is chairman of the Van Buren Foundation Inc. and was co-founder of the Community Foundation of Van Buren County. He was co-founder of the Douds Historical Preservation Association, Inc. and is currently the president of that organization.

He was instrumental in the founding of the Van Buren County Welcome Center.

He also previously served on the Van Buren Community School Board of Education.

Finney has won election 11 times, all unopposed. Finney is a member of Christ United Church and has been secretary-treasurer of Keosauqua Rotary Club from July 1, 1977, to July 1, 2018. Finney and his wife Deborah (the former editor of the Van Buren Register and current elementary art teacher in the Fairfield Community School District) have two children, Jonathan and Elizabeth.

There will be a reception for Finney in the First Floor District Courtroom on Wednesday, August 8 from 2-5 p.m.

The state of Iowa requires that the board of supervisors fill the vacancy within 40 days after the vacancy occurs. The board must publish its intention of filling the vacancy. Because the vacancy occurs between the primary and general election, a special election shall not be called either by the board or by petition, according to state law.

Finney gave deputy auditor, Lisa Plecker, his highest recommendation, should the supervisors choose her to fill the vacancy.

“There is no one more qualified in the state of Iowa than Lisa is to take the office of county auditor,” Finney said. Plecker began her employment in the auditor’s office in 2007.

When asked by supervisors if she would take the position, Plecker said she preferred to wait until the public notices and hearings are held.

Following discussion on the procedure for replacing the Van Buren County Auditor, supervisors approved a motion that, pursuant to Chapter 69.14A, Code of Iowa, the board intends to fill the vacancy by appointment and the county auditor is instructed to publish notice of this intent, as required by law, in the Van Buren County Register.

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