# County Judicial System

No new vote this year on Polk County courthouse

Polk County supervisors are going to spend more time reviewing the options for addressing the needs of the overcrowded courthouse before putting another referendum before the voters. Click the link to see some options being considered.

Given the way the April 29 vote turned out, there was little chance that Polk County voters would approve the same plan this November in any case.

It is unfortunate that poor planning and mismanagement of other projects involving the county have created such an atmosphere of public distrust. The courthouse proposal was a sensible approach to meeting real needs of the judicial system.

Polk County residents, don't forget to vote on Tuesday

On Tuesday, April 29, Polk County is holding a referendum on whether to renovate and expand the Polk County Courthouse. Polls will be open from 7 am to 8 pm.

I am voting yes, because the current facility poses a fire hazard and a threat to the safety of the judges, courthouse employees, and members of the public.

Delaying construction on this facility will only increase the eventual cost while increasing the chance of death or injury in the meantime.

The Des Moines Register is also urging readers to vote yes on the referendum and published lots of information about the proposal in Monday’s edition.

UPDATE: Around 7:15 pm on Monday, I received a robocall paid for by Citizens for Reasonable Justice, which made the case for voting no on this referendum, and directed me to their website:


I think it’s disingenuous for them to say let’s just wait until after the recession is over and then adopt a more modest plan for renovating the courthouse.

First, we all know these anti-tax groups will fight any proposal to spend money on this, no matter how big, no matter what the phase of the economic cycle.

Second, if we kick the can down the road for another five years, the cost of adding on to the courthouse will increase, not decrease.