Iowa City Today

Iowa City Today

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Kaufmann's bill angers some Johnson County officials


By Zeta Cross | Mar 25, 2020

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Rep. Bobby Kaufmann | Facebook

Republican Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, of Wilton, has angered some Johnson County Supervisors with a new bill in the legislature. 

Kaufmann told KCRG that he introduced the bill to prevent farmers from having to deal with too much red tape. Kaufmann’s bill would prevent regulations requiring farmers to pay fees and fill out applications to work on their own land.

He introduced his bill because he believes a new ordinance passed in Johnson County–the Unified Development Ordinance–is too strict.

Some Johnson County Supervisors told KCRG that they consider Kaufmann’s bill a direct attack on local control. They said Kaufmann refused to meet with them when they were working on the ordinance.

Some farmers, however, have voiced support for the bill, saying that the supervisors went too far with their new regulations. They said the Johnson County ordinance infringes on their right to work on their own land without government interference.

Rancher Steve Swenka of Double G Angus Farms in Tiffin is an opponent of the Johnson County ordinance and a supporter of Kaufmann’s bill. He said farmers are good stewards of the land. He said he is against the Johnson County ordinance because if he wants to fix his barn or rebuild it, the ordinance would require fees and paperwork. Swenka told KCRG that farmers are already subject to too much regulation. 

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