Governor Kim Reynolds has appointed Emily Wharton to remain in charge at the Iowa Department for the Blind, effective July 1. Wharton has worked for the agency since 2013 and has served as its director since 2016.
NEW POWER FOR THE GOVERNOR
For generations, the Iowa Commission for the Blind (a three-member body appointed by the governor) had the authority to hire and fire the agency director. But Reynolds’ plan to restructure state government, which Republican lawmakers approved in March, gave that power to the governor.
The change was consistent with language giving Reynolds direct control over several other agency leaders not already serving “at the pleasure of the governor.” But that idea didn’t come from the outside consultant’s report on realigning Iowa government, commissioned by the Reynolds administration at a cost of $994,000. Blind Iowans turned out in large numbeers for state House and Senate subcommittee hearings on the bill and uniformly spoke against the proposal.Continue Reading...