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Marquess answers Letter to Editor

October 19, 2018
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Dear Editor,

I read Assistant County Attorney Michael Bandy's letter printed in your issue of Friday, October 12. I am disappointed that Mr. Heeren, through his friend and employee Mr. Bandy, would rather seek to discredit me than debate substance.

Mr. Bandy's challenge has no merit. If it did, Mr. Heeren would have raised it when, as a courtesy, I informed him in January that I was running for his office, or in March when I filed my affidavit of candidacy, or in June when I was certified as the winner of the democratic primary, or in September before the deadline to challenge the ballot passed. Rather, Mr. Heeren and Mr. Bandy chose to wait until now because as experienced lawyers they know that this type of complaint, without the need for any proof up front, requires a hearing, and with just three weeks before the election a hearing cannot be held until after the people of Tama County have voted. This intentional effort to undermine my campaign tracks with Mr. Bandy's Facebook message to me, which I deleted because I will not abide bullying in my campaign-n posts, in which he threatened that if I did not back out of the election and the people of Tama County elected me I would be impeached and another County Attorney appointed (not elected). These scare tactics will not work on me. I am a lawful candidate and a properly registered voter. Regardless, anyone concerned is welcome to telephone the Tama County Auditor at 641-484-2740 and speak with elections coordinator Karen Rohrs, who will be happy to relate the requirements for registering to vote and serving as Tama County Attorney.

The point of all this nonsense is to distract from actual substance. I have plans and goals for the Office of the County Attorney. One of my biggest priorities is to stop paying- the Benton County Attorney to do our work. By the end of this year, we will have paid the Benton County Attorney $100,000.00 to collect delinquent Tama County fines. This money should have stayed in our budget, and helped relieve some of the burden on Tama County taxpayers. I will stop this practice and collect the fines, bringing this money back where it belongs.

I also want to get more aggressive on enforcing restitution payments by offenders to their victims. Restitution is money that criminals are ordered to reimburse to their victims as part of their sentence, and includes the value of items they have stolen or property they have destroyed, the costs of medical care their victims had to receive, and similar expenses. Too often victims of crime watch as the person who injured them gets away with not having, their feet held to the fire on these payments. I will not agree to discharge criminals from court supervision until they have paid their victims back.

Finally, I will be very fiscally conservative. In addition to bringing, the fine collection money back to Tama County to supplement the budget, I will not pad my budget as Mr. Heeren has done for years with money for a third attorney position that is never filled. The Tama County Supervisors denied Mr. Heeren's request for this money this year after seeing it was never spent on what it was budgeted for. I will also never pay a temporary worker $8,000.00 per month when the position he is substituting for regularly pays $5,000.00 per month, as Mr. Heeren did earlier this year when he hired Mr. Bandy to substitute for Assistant Attorney Peter Mommer for two months while Mr. Mommer was on paternity leave. I don't believe tax dollars should be taken for granted and thrown around like that.

These are just some of the things I will do if elected. Mr. Heeren and Mr. Bandy are satisfied with the status quo. I am not. I believe the Office of the County Attorney can do more for the people of Tama County while saving, them money. If you want a prosecutor who's going, to be driven and bring change to the office, who's going to make sure victims are heard and protected, and who's fiscally responsible, I'm your man. Please vote for me on November 6.

Michael Marquess

Garwin

 
 

 

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