Longtime Greene County Recorder Marcia Tasler (right) retired from office on Saturday. County supervisors recently appointed Tasler’s deputy recorder, Deb McDonald (left), to succeed her. McDonald was sworn in on Monday over Zoom because she was home with COVID-19. HERALD FILE PHOTO

Sign of the times: Recorder sworn in over Zoom

By RICK MORAIN

For The Jefferson Herald

Greene County recorded a first at Monday’s meeting of the county board of supervisors when Deb McDonald, recently the county’s deputy recorder, was sworn in electronically over Zoom as the new Greene County recorder, succeeding Marcia Tasler.

Tasler had announced weeks ago that she would be resigning the recorder’s position effective Oct. 31, and she recommended that the board of supervisors appoint McDonald to succeed her.

The board on Oct. 5 adopted a resolution announcing its intention to appoint McDonald to the position, and at Monday’s meeting followed through with that action. Her oath of office was administered over the internet by Greene County Attorney Thomas Laehn. McDonald’s signature on the oath of office document was witnessed by Laehn and Greene County Auditor Jane Heun.

McDonald was not present in the boardroom for the swearing-in because, as she announced to the board, she had tested positive for COVID-19 and was quarantining at home. 

As a result, the recorder’s office in the courthouse was temporarily closed. 

McDonald said she hoped to be back in the office by Thursday.

In other action, the board approved the installation of winter holiday decorations on the courthouse grounds. The decorations are large lighted snowflakes that will be displayed in the courthouse lawn’s trees to “convey a message of holiday cheer and good wishes,” according to a resolution.

The intent is to display them from the first Monday after Thanksgiving to the first Monday after New Year’s Day. County Engineer Wade Weiss is in charge of installing them.

The board approved a matching Louis Dreyfus grant of up to $3,000 to Thomas Jefferson Gardens for the purchase and erection of a small, onsite greenhouse. Jean Walker, the Gardens’ head gardener, explained that the nonprofit would save money by growing its own plants needed each year for display in the six gardens. The match is on a 50-50 basis.

The board approved several fund transfers:

• $50,000 from the general basic fund to the conservation reserve fund.

• $8,000 from the general basic fund to the bike trail fund.

• $5,000 from the Local Option Sales and Service Tax (LOSST) fund to the bike trail fund.

• $80,000 temporarily from the general fund to the bike trail fund for the trail signage project. The Iowa Transportation Alternative Program will reimburse the county for those moneys, and they are to be returned in full to the general fund by June 30.

The board appointed Karla Janning as the county’s new representative on the Region XII Regional Housing Authority board of directors through Sept. 30 of next year.

The board discussed whether to require county employees to wear face masks. 

The supervisors decided to continue their present policy of recommending masking when social distancing is not possible, but not to require masks.

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