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Supervisor Dougherty refuses to answer citizen questions



This news story was published on September 4, 2012.
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Cerro Gordo County Supervisor Phil Dougherty laughs as NIT Publisher Matt Marquardt asks for 10 minutes of Dougherty’s time to answer questions about Cerro Gordo County.

Editorial by Matt Marquardt –

Something is amiss with the Cerro Gordo County Supervisors.

In my experience of attending meetings for the past two years, there seems to be a lot of issues decided before the meetings take place.  There is rarely, if ever, a 2-1 vote.  There is no background on agenda items furnished to the citizens; in fact, this panel has refused to provide this information unless you “come by the office” in person after the meetings (See video at bottom of page).  Meetings are re-scheduled at the last minute or with barely any notice to a different day.  You will routinely see a Globe Gazette reporter in the supervisors’ office on Tuesday mornings prior to meetings laughing at jokes.

The word on the street is that long-time Supervisor Jay Urdahl is running the show.  If you watch enough Supervisor meetings, you will see Phil Dougherty while seated at Supervisor meetings look down the row to get the nod from Jay Urdahl before making a motion.

As Supervisors Urdahl and Dougherty each face a challenger in this November’s election, I felt the need to arrange a basic question and answer session of about 10 minutes so that the differences between the candidates could be seen, heard and articulated for voters.  I do believe that is the democratic way and nothing out of the ordinary.  Unless I am missing something, candidates should expect this during an election.

Both challengers readily agreed to take part; Chris Watts (running against Dougherty) and Kyle Klinksiek (running against Urdahl) tell me that they are prepared to come to the courthouse any day during working hours of the Supervisors to spend 10 minutes and answer basic questions.

However, my source indicated to me that Phil Dougherty was advised by Jay Urdahl to “ignore” my request.

Easier said than done.

Today, just by happenstance, Dougherty was at the Labor Day Picnic at Georgia Hanford Park where he gave an uncharacteristic rah-rah speech.

As Dougherty walked past me right afterwards,  I asked him if he had seen my request for 10 minutes of his time.

“Yes, yes” he said.

“Are we going to do that?” I asked.

“Probably not,” Dougherty answered.

“Why not?” I asked.  “I am a citizen, I pay your wages.  I live in your district.”

“We’ll talk about it sometime,” he said.

“We’ll talk about it now,” I offered.  “Can I get 10 minutes of your time, someday, at the courthouse?”

“We’ll see,” Dougherty finally said.

Dougherty had no explanation for his refusal to spend 10 minutes with a citizen, me, and answer questions about Cerro Gordo County.  I have no idea what he fears, or if he has something to hide, but he would simply face the same questions his opponent would face.  I would think an elected official owes a citizen at least 10 minutes.  He is welcome to invite Sheriff Pals and Jay Urdahl if it makes him feel better.

“I heard Jay told you not to answer my email,” I said to Dougherty.

“Well, no, that was a desic…. I’m not gonna talk on that ….” Dougherty said.

“I’ll ask you about it tomorrow, Phil,” I offered.

See you Tuesday morning at 9:45 AM at the courthouse.

Elected official Phil Dougherty refuses NIT interview

httpv://youtu.be/WcCm3P7xJE0

2011: Supervisors refuse to provide background information on agenda items to the public (See 8:05 mark in video)

httpv://youtu.be/X4PEG_73xis

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41 Responses to Supervisor Dougherty refuses to answer citizen questions

  1. Ty Reply Report comment

    September 9, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    What a dork!!
    The whole bunch of them need to retire!

  2. get the truth out Reply Report comment

    September 7, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Ever since Marsters beat the “snell thief” in an election some odd years because he was wanting the city to build his brand new building for his ambulance service, I started paying a little more attention to just how corrupt the government officials are at the local level too.

    In a nut shell, the rich protect their own. The rich pad their rich buddies pockets. The rich also want to protect their “power” from us common folk interrupting “business as usual”. Remaining behind closed doors (city or county) is one way to accomplish their goals and keep the truth from coming to light on what the truth is.

    Matt probably could be “somewhat” more tactful but I have to give a tremendous amount of credit for the courage to try to bring the corruption to the surface! If one of us common folks that are not rich try to bring the truth to the surface, we would be broomed to the curb with a quickness. Shunned by the rich folks. So most of us know enough to just shut up and deal with the corruption. BTW, that’s what the rich folks would prefer us to do …

    Matts news website brings the corruption to surface in a public forum. The city and the county could be should be transparent and honest about the business that affects the citizens.

    If you (the common/honest folks) are not happy with either the city or county, you have the right to vote them out of office. This leads to another issue with our corrupt system of government. The rich can afford to “buy” votes. Us common folk do not have the resources to compete.

    That leads to another issue, what common/honest folks wants to run for office at the local level and deal with the corruption, dirty politics, back stabbing, legal extortion, what have ya. I don’t … I would end up in jail.

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely …

  3. dmuuni Reply Report comment

    September 5, 2012 at 11:42 am

    I am so confused over all this discussion. It seems there are really two different issues.

    #1 – yes, the supervisors should be willing to talk with their constituents. I called a couple of winters ago to complain about snow removal on our gravel road and was treated well. Not sure if anyone has called them with an issue and not been able to talk with them? Other than Mr. Marquardt?

    #2 – is the county being run effectively? The only complaint I hear is about the fair, and that is not controlled by the Board of Supervisors. What about county roads, drainage, does the Auditors, Treasurers, and Recorders offices work the way they should, etc.? What is the problem? And if “it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

  4. isucy Reply Report comment

    September 4, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    You are a citizen yes. But when you have a camera or a pad of paper you are a journalist. A journalist that tries to entrap a person loses the respect of that representative and a lot of respect from your audience. I know there are pressing issues but Matt you went about it the wrong way. You dont interrupt a meeting you invite him to sit down with you and calmly go over your concerns. I know the point was to get people to come an look at your writings but be a journalist. If you want the honest truth look at the way he votes. Ask him what his plans are for his re-election. Write about those things. Dont take out a vendetta against him. He’s a simple farmer that’s been elected legitimately by the population. Give him that respect. Set up a debate maybe between the candidates? Sponsor the debate and broadcast it live online. Be a fair journalist. I’ve seen nothing on his competitor.

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      September 5, 2012 at 12:25 am

      Entrapped? Urdahl called on me after I raised my hand like we are in 8th grade. I calmly asked questions and he ran away like a frightened rabbit. I won’t be changing anything, except perhaps hitting harder next time. Buckle up.

  5. LVS Reply Report comment

    September 4, 2012 at 9:49 am

    OK-I watched the vidio and thought Matt was very polite and professional. he did nothing but ask for 10 minutes of his representatives time and was refused. The concerning part is that he was refused as a taxpayer and the new media which really make you wonder what they don’t want us to know. It is time these people were taken out of office and replaced with new younger concerned citizens. Again, I am always in favor of term limits.

  6. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 4, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I have great respect for most of the things NIT is doing, yet I know I wouldn’t give you ten minutes of my time given the hostile approach that was taken on Labor Day weekend.

    • wow Reply Report comment

      September 4, 2012 at 9:06 am

      You consider a citizen wanting a few questions answered is a hostile approach as oppose to the mayor or Dr La la flipping the finger to NIT?? HA
      NIT does nothing but bring you the “TRUTH” and some of you on here (and we know who the majority are) try your hardest to discredit them!

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      September 4, 2012 at 9:32 am

      That’s laughable. Watch the video, it’s called asking questions, which was done in a very civil and decent way.

      • was civil! Reply Report comment

        September 4, 2012 at 5:30 pm

        Matt went because his email wasn’t answered; why wasn’t he given the respect of an email return???? We NEED TO hold our elected officials accountable. These three have been there too long and are used to doing what they want without intereferenc, that being from those who put them there. Change would be good.

        Matt was very civil, but persistent. I watched this video again this morning and laughted my ass off. That is because most people are not bold enough to go and, in front of everyone, take those in powerful positions to task; kudos to Matt.

        Matt is in that district and should have been given the respect of an email return!

        I know how annoyed I have gotten when I didn’t receive even an acknowledgement by my representative in congress when I took the time to write – pissed me off. And it wasn’t Ragan or Steckman; haven’t written Steckman, and Ragan has always answered me, and not with a form response either.

  7. Paul D Reply Report comment

    September 4, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Suzy where you been? Even Skipper in the Globe KIMT ect has done stuff about Blodgett sending out letters since for years raising big money for Urdahl. I have saw Urdahl’s money reports on line, lot’s of Blodgett’s rich buddys on there you go figure.

  8. A voter Reply Report comment

    September 3, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    What doe Phil have to hide?
    The lack of vision?
    People, look at his and the other Supervisor’s track records.
    How are they moving Cerro Gordo Count forward?
    I know both Phil and Chris.
    I think we need a change all the way around.
    Nothing personal, but I think Phil has served his time at our expense.
    Let’s give Watts the nod this year.
    He is involved and cares about our future.

  9. mx.racer Reply Report comment

    September 3, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Thay run there city as corrupt as there school system wont get any answers without a lawyer there all crooks..

    • isucy Reply Report comment

      September 4, 2012 at 11:21 pm

      first off they have no control over a majority of the things that happen in the city…thats what a CITY council is for. Look into the County constitution. They have legal limits.

  10. Suzie Q Reply Report comment

    September 3, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Excuse me worker, Gary Blodget is Republican Jay Urdahl is Democrat. Please clue me in how is Gary Blodgett the master of Urdahl?

  11. dougherty Reply Report comment

    September 3, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Doughtery is the best of the three, but should have just said he was willing to talk; what does he have to hide? Why can’t he speak on his own?

  12. A worker Reply Report comment

    September 3, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Timmy what is hysteria about asking a politician to make time to see citizens about the issues? We all know Phil is Jay’s lackie he does whatever Urdal tell’s him to. Since we got Amonsen in there and he is Republecan, that means we got us 3 gop supervisers since Urdal serves at the pleasure of his master Gary Blodgett. Vote for Chris Watts and Kyle Klinksienck if you want workers to have a voice in things.

  13. post Reply Report comment

    September 3, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    You seem to have stirred up the bent over gang with this story Matt. The more they try to protect their puppet masters the worse they look. Great job on trying to get the facts to all the citizens.

  14. move them on Reply Report comment

    September 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Great article Matt! Thank you for being out there pressing the issues; your boldness, as long as hostility is kept in check, is greatly appreciated.

    I used to work for the county and felt very strongly at the time that all three of these guys need to be replaced; they simply have been there too long. I left the county because I wasn’t making a wage that I could support my family with, even though Urdahl and Dougherty are both supposed union supporters. They should take care of the county employees who are not unionized as well as those who are unionized; wasn’t happening.

    • move them on - and i must add Reply Report comment

      September 3, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      Great video – LOL – love the boldness!

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      September 3, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      There is no hostility on my part towards anyone. The video shows I asked in a calm manner and was respectful.

      • move them on - and i must add Reply Report comment

        September 3, 2012 at 6:55 pm

        Indeed you did, I was referring to the statue issue that got kind of hostile; I like this calm respectful approach; exposes them!

  15. Timmy Reply Report comment

    September 3, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    NothIng like creating hysteria to get people to read your…whatever you call this site. Fulfilling your desperate dream to be TMZ.

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      September 3, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      Seems to have worked on you. Glad you are here today reading NIT.

    • John Reply Report comment

      September 3, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      Hey Timmy, I mean Phil, why didn’t you answer Matt’s request for 10 minutes? Was it because Lassy, I mean Jay wasn’t there to protect you?

    • lmandtm Reply Report comment

      September 4, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      Hey Matt,
      Isn’t there a way to trace “timmy” to the “source” computer following IP addresses? Find out who it is and see if He/She will do a ten minute interview?

  16. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 3, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    The headline of this story is deceptive… Matt are you trying to pass as a citizen while operating as the press? Phil doesn’t appear to be denying private citizens questions as much as you as the news media.

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      September 3, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      I happen to be both, you can split hairs all you want. I pay taxes here too.

      • John Reply Report comment

        September 3, 2012 at 5:47 pm

        I agree! Doesn’t matter if you are press or not. Dough boy was making a public appearance and it was the right forum to ask a question.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 4, 2012 at 8:54 pm

      I completely agree! Your wanting to sit down as a concerned citizen and talk with a candidate for a few minutes is entirely different than a member of the news media (who seems to have a camcorder glued to his hand) wanting to sit down and ask a few questions to post on his blog and rant/rave about. Really? If a reporter for a national newspaper stalked a congressman for an interview, there is no way they could write an article claiming said congressman wouldn’t agree to answer the questions of a private citizen. When you are requesting interviews or posting said interviews on your “news blog/news site” you cease to be a “private citizen” and become the media. Don’t blame him one bit for refusing you!

  17. John Reply Report comment

    September 3, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    The comments on the video were not clear, are they going to post an agenda or not?

    All of these guys seem shady to me and need to be replaced. They have been there too long. What are we paying them for these 10 minute meetings?

    I think we need to look at counties in Iowa our size and see what they are paying the supervisors.

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      September 3, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      The Cerro Gordo County Supervisors post a very thin agenda. Very rarely is any background of any kind offered in the agendas. Contrast that with Mason City City Hall council agenda which are accompanied by a packet that details each agenda item in great detail.

  18. olson Reply Report comment

    September 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    what a disgusting display of arrgance by this man who supposed to work for the people of this county. hey matt if you get the chance ask him how many miles of roads our county got compared to neighboring counties. they got a lot for free.

  19. Paul D Reply Report comment

    September 3, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Dont you know Matt Phil can’t say nothing unless Jay Urdahl says he can. And Jay can’t do nothing unless Gary Blodgett tells him he can.

  20. Publius Reply Report comment

    September 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    What a puke!

    • Dougherty supporter Reply Report comment

      September 3, 2012 at 5:55 pm

      Im sure the puke you are referring to is Mr Marquardt. Who always shoves a camera in the faces of people and rudely demands they speak to him. I was raised to use manners and respect. Simply try this sometime and maybe you could become a reporter with class and dignity. You may even get some of the interviews that have been refused.
      This being said, I’m sure if you showed Mr. Dougherty some respect and used some manners he would speak to you as a citizen.

      • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

        September 3, 2012 at 5:58 pm

        Name calling now, and anonymous on top of it. Class act. Refer to the video, where I show nothing but decency in my questions to Mr. Dougherty.

      • Clark Reply Report comment

        September 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm

        You were raised to hide like a chicken, fake name boy. Get em Matt.

      • John Reply Report comment

        September 3, 2012 at 7:28 pm

        Come on Phil, I mean “Dougherty supporter” You can do better than that. Matt didn’t ask you anything other than 10 minutes. Could I ask you for 10 minutes in your office some time? Please let me know what your schedule is like and I will take the time out of mine.

      • Matt Rezab Reply Report comment

        September 3, 2012 at 9:03 pm

        Suddenly posting anonymously on this site is a detriment? Seems to me the portion of posters here doing so anonymously is in the 90-95% range. Please call all those people cowards for me too Matt.

    • Matt Rezab Reply Report comment

      September 3, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      By the way, posting under a single name like, “Clark” doesn’t mean your taking ownership of your comment.