Cedar Rapids Gazette, December 3, 1974, Page 8

Cedar Rapids Gazette

December 03, 1974

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Issue date: Tuesday, December 3, 1974

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 3, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa X V Preisser: Eliminate DOT ‘Rattles’ By Gordon Hanson DES MOINES (AP) — Iowa’s transportation network is like a family ear with a lot of miles on it, says Victor Preisser, the first director of the state’s new Department of Transportation. The network has “a loose door here, a squeaky window there, even though it runs and serves the family well,” says Preisser, who was named director by the DOT commission last month. Preisser, 37, hopes to eliminate the rattles after he settles into the driver’s seat dan. I. ment is probably the best in the U.S. These people knew what they wanted, and they did it." Weld Agency Busy Mechanic In the meantime, he’s like a busy mechanic, commuting weekly from his present job in Chicago to Des Moines and Ames to learn a1) he can about Iowa’s public transportation system. He intends to maintain offices in both cities. His days in Iowa are jammed with briefings and conferences. “I’m trying to do as much solid planning in getting started as the governor did in setting up the DOT commission.” he says. “I’m not going to do anything precipitous — just accelerated and continuing progress. “The legislation for forming this depart- The 6-foot-4 Preisser, who is divorced, was selected from 327 applicants by the -seven-member DOT commission. His job is to weld into one agency by July I the highway and aeronautics commissions, the truck licensing reciprocity board, the licensing function of the department of public safety and the transportation regulation sections of the Iowa commerce commission. “There is no Iowan whose life is not affected by transportation,” he said in an interview Monday. He said integration of the agencies “will let us respond more quickly to needs and let us balance our expenditures better.” He and aides to Gov. Robert Ray were to review the DOT’s proposed budget Tuesday. The proposal will total about $200 million and was reached by combining the budget askings of the agencies forming the DOT. DOT Budget “There will be about 5.000 people in the DOT.” he said, “and their salaries and expenses alone will be about $90 million a year. Preisser acknowledged the need for firm administration in an inflationary era. “The individual departments always spent their money fairly wisely," he said, “but statutorily the money “was restricted in ways it might be spent more judiciously. The DOT “can’t help but improve the overview” in determining priorities for the various transportation modes and making the commission “free to shuffle things internally the way we want,” for better economy. Board Chairman For the past three years Priesser has been board chairman of Midwest Management Corp. in Chicago. He is a former vice president and troubleshooter for the North Western Railway. He said the DOT post attracted him “because Iowa is going to occupy a pivotal role in the U.S. economy in the next decade. This is because of its vast food producing capacity. “But ways have to be found to move all of that produce.” State Audit Questions Keokuk Hospital Payments Recommend Creation of Internal Audit DES MOINES (UPI) - In its annual audit of the Iowa employment security commission. the state auditor’s office Monday recommended creation of an internal audit staff within the commission. State Auditor Loyd Smith said the commission, which handles employment programs throughout the state, should have an internal auditing staff to keep its financial records in order. Smit noted the commission currently regulates its internal financial affairs only with a desk review of vouchers being processed for payment. He said under the present setup, the commission has “a general ladk of internal auditing procedures.’’ “Last year’s audit report recommended that the commission study the possibility and desirability of creating an internal audit staff which would report directly to the commission,” Smith said. Lack Civil Service Applicants By Robin l*r Selvig Drake University Journalism Student DES MOINES (IDPA) — Everyone seems to be facing a shortage of some kind these days. The civil service commission here is no exception, but its shortage is a lack of people — handicapped people — contacting the commission about job opportunities with the federal government. According to Carl Brockmeyer, selected placement corrdinator for the handecapped. only 13 persons have been tested by the civil service commission in the last two years. Employment can be obtained with the federal government without taking an examination through the “accepted” route, but it is generally reserved for severely handicapped people, who could handle a particular job. Small Number No figures are available as to how many persons have gone through the “accepted” route, but Brockmeyer estimated the number to be very small. The commission has begun a program to step up interest in federal job opportunities. Brockmeyer has contacted the Iowa commission for the blind, the Iowa employment security commission, the Iowa state vocational rehabilitation center and the fovernor’s committee on employment of the handicapped. All are participating in a handicap referral program for federal employment. Employment for handicapped persons is based on the same criteria as for any other person, regarding placement. “Where a person is placed depends on that individual’s wants, limitations and educational background,’’ brockmeyer said. Clerical Positions He stressed that there is not one particular field of employment which employs more handicapped persons, but Brockmeyer did mention that there is “always a turn-over in clerical positions.” Throughout the United States, handicapped persons have overcome difficulties, and have found successful careers. For example, featured at 'an April awards program for handicapped federal employes were a woman born without arms who programs a computed for the army with her toes; a man who had both legs severed in a tfain accident who became an auditor for the defense contract audit agnecy. and a man who lost his sighe at age eight and is now an attorney for the Small Business Administration. Mobility Factor Brockmeyer said that for any position with the federal government, mobility could be a factor. Because Des Moines is the largest city in Iowa, most of the jobs are clustered here, he said. The Des Moines area office serves the entire state and there are testing points in Amen, Atlantic, Burlington. Cedar Rapids, Creston, Decorah, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, Iowa City. Mason City, Ottumwa. Sioux City, Spencer, and Waterloo Brockmeyer said he feels the lack of handicapped people applying for federal employment could be because of “lack of knowledge, fear of the test, or a conglomeration of a number of things.” He said a toll-free job information phone number — (800 ) 362-2060 — has been added Few Takers for New Plates; investigation    Delegation Agrees County Tri es to Delete The m    To Joint Meetings DAVENPORT (AP)- At the Scott county treasurer’s office, it is now apparent that few, if any, local residents will want to buy 1975 Iowa license* plates stamped with the letters “GAY.” That means that the county is try ing to get rid of the 1,000 “GAY” plates that have been sent by state officials. Mary Ament of the treasurer’s auto license division, said Monday that the division has asked State Auditor Lloyd Smith for permission to delete the plates from its offerings. Must Decide But Smith, in an interview Monday, recalled that County Treasurer Ken Gaines had visited him about the plates. Smith said he told Gaines, “You’re an elected official,” and it was up to Gaines to decide what to do. Highway Patrol Chief Candidates Narrowed Down DES MOINES (UPI) - The number of cnadidates for the post of chief of the Iowa highway patrol has been narrowed to three with a final decision expected to be announced Wednesday. Public safety offieals said IO candidates had been interviewed for the job of succeeding former chief Col. Howard Miller, whose resignation took effect Sunday. Officials said the new chief would be picked from the present patrol staff. Assistant Chief Al Chrystal has been promoted temporarily to the top post in the department, but sources said he was not among the applicants being considered for the chiefs position. Citizen lasts Cedar Rapids System Telephone 3CM244 Area Ten (SEATS) In Cedar Rapids 398-5605 Elsewhere 800-332-5996 Smith said he does not care if the plates are offered for sale or not. But at audit time, the treasurer’s office must either have the plates or be able to show that they were sold. Include Letters This is the first year that Iowa has included letters on its plates. Already, state officials have decided to delete such combinations as “GAG” and “GEE,” and the treasurer’s office does not see why it must offer “GAY.” Officials said they had the “GAY” plates on hand for about six weeks, but only lately realized that the series of plates probably would not be requested. Pin-Ball Machine Thief Hits Dorms IOWA CITY - A thief specializing in pin-ball machines was active Monday, prying open machines at three University of Iowa dormitories and an Iowa City tavern An undetermined amount was taken from the machines located at Stanley, Currier, and Burge dormitories. Also broken into some time Sunday night was a pin ball machine at the Sanctuary tavern in Iowa City where an undetermined amount was taken. DES MOINES (UPI) - The Des Moines city manager’s office has launched an investigation of alleged misconduct in the city’s police department. the city council was told Monday night. Councilman Russell LaVine revealed that City Manager Richard Wilkey startl'd the probe after a meeting last week where an unidentified police officer made several allegations about the police operations. Wilkey said the meeting in his office was technically a hearing on a grievance filed by the policeman. He said the meeting was attended by Councilman Jack Woods, Police Chief Wendell Nichols, another police officer and a representative of the city legal staff. The city manager did not disclose the full thrust of the investigation but said allegations made at the meeting include charges that a stolen tractor was not returned to its owner after it was recovered by police. Also, he said there was a charge that a suspect was being investigated by his brother on the police force. LaVine said he had details involving the alleged theft of 46 handguns that were not returned to the owners after their recovery. WASHINGTON (UPI) -Democrats in Iowa’s congressional delegation have agrml to hold monthly meetings in an effort to coordinate their work on Iowa projects. In addition, they decided to invite incoming Republican Rep. Charles Grassley, the on- Merrill Held on Open Murder Charge KEOSAUQUA (AP)- Don-ald Merrill, 43, rural Keosauqua, was being held Monday on an open charge of murder in connection with the apparent stabbing death of Esco Honkie, HO, a Keosauqua farmer. Bond for Merrill, who had been living at the Honkie farm, was set at $100,000. He was in custody in Van Buren county jail after appearing in magistrate’s court. ly GOP member of the delegation. to the Wednesday morning breakfast meetings. Rep. Meal Smith (D-Iowa), who will be dean of the Iowa delegation, said Monday that Democrats believe their efforts for Iowa projects could be more effective “if there is just a little better coordination, and if we keep it on a bipartisan basis.” Grassley said he would be happy to attend the meetings and would cooperate fully in the venture. Smith said the Democrats also agreed to set up an organization for formal contact with Gov. Robert I). Ray and the Iowa legislature on matters involving federal-state problems. ON THIS DATE in 18<M. the Scottish writer, Robert Ixiuis Stevenson, died in Samq#. You’re going to enjoy Christmas shopping in our new downtown store. We invite you. Sill Malloy Malloy Jewelers 729 Second Ave. SE 363-3870 Add some sizzle toyoureggs tomorrow. Hormel little Sizzlers. Hormel Lit tle Burler wini fee* Heil ■ SIGOURNEY (AP) - The Keokuk County hospital paid twice for the same air conditioning unit and one of the payments was to a company owned by the hospital board chairman. State Auditor Lloyd Smith said Monday. Smith detailed the double payment totaling $15,825 in an audit delivered to board members at a public meeting here. The audit report, covering a five-year period, said repairs on the air conditioning system appe ared to be excessive. Roof Repair It also questioned a hospital roof repair project which cost the county $18,799 when done by the company of the chairman, W. C. Conner, although a Cedar Rapids firm had bid $6,679.    * The audit said the Ruggles Sheet Metal Co., was paid $8,-264 on July 17, 1971), for the air conditioner. although the Conner Bros. Construction Co., of which Conner is president, had been paid $7,561 for the same job the preceding Dec. 31. Conner resigned from the board on Nov. 4 after a meeting in Smith’s office with Keokuk County Atty. Glen Bradley, Conner’s attorney, two Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents and a representative of the Iowa attorney general’s office. Offered Payment He offered a check for $10.- GOP Nominates Kann For 19th District Race DUBUQUE - Republican Donna Kann 29. junior high school teacher, will oppose Democrat Tom Jochum, 22, Loras college student, for state representative from the 19th district at a special election here Dec. 30 Miss Kann was nominated by the 19th district Republicans Monday night to fill the vacancy in Iowa house left by the death of the late State Rep. Joseph Clark (D-Du-buque). Jochum was nominated several days ago by 19th district Democrats. Meanwhile, State Rep. Robert Carr (D-Dubuque) announced his resignation, (effective Monday), from the Clark Meets With Rockefeller WASHINGTON - Vue-presidential nominee Nelson Rockefeller met Tuesday afternoon with Sen. Dick Clark and several other first-term senators for an informal get-acquainted session in the Iowa Democrat’s Capitol Hill office. The meeting, suggested by Clark, is similar to previous to get-togethers arranged for relatively new senators to chat with key figures, especially military experts on the Pentagon budget. A Clark aide said the senators will not take any action as a result of the meeting “They just want to sit down and talk with Rixkefeller and get their owti gut reaction to the guy,” the aide said. Clark remains undecided how he will vote when the Rockefeller nomination for vicepresident comes before the senate, the aide said. 20th district seat to which he was re-elected Nov. 5. Unexpired Term Carr recently was nominated by 10th district Dubuque Democrats to complete the unexpired term of State Sen. Michael Blouin, Dubuque Democrat, who resigned Nov. 27 after winning election as the Second district’s new congressman on Nov. 5. Blouin’s state senate term has two years to run Blouin’s state senate term has two years to run and will be filled at the special election Dec. 30. Carr s Republican opponent for Blouin’s seat is James Esmoil, former Dubuque newscaster. Gov. Robert Ray was out of the state Tuesday but his administrative assistant, Wythe Willey, said Carrs letter of resignation had been received and that Ray probably would set the date for the special election to fill the vacancy on the same Dec. 30 date as the two other special elections. Meet Wednesday Dubuque county’s 20th district Democratic committee will meed at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Westminister Presbyterian church to choose a candidate to succeed Carr. Prospects are Pat Smith, insurance salesman; Ethel Cherioli, county employe; Robert Klein, businessman and Joe Sullivan, Loras student, a1) of Dubuque. Republicans haven’t set a date to name their candidate from the 20th district. Said to be interested are Tom Tauke, Second district GOP chairman; Dick Ludwig, former Dubuque mayor and Bruce Meriwether, ail of Dubuque. 747 to the hospital in reimbursement for the payment to the Ruggles firm plus seven percent interest from July I, 1970 to last Nov. I. He also paid $1,769, the cost of the state audit. In his letter of resignation, Conner said he could not continue on the board because “conflicts of interest which more than likely would continue to arise” because of his enterprises in Sigourney and surrounding communities. He said he hadn t realized when he requested payment to Ruggles Sheet Metal that it was for the same work his own company had already been paid for. Smith recommended that an engineering firm be hired to review the hospital roofing job to determine "if appropriate value has been received for amounts expended.” Proper Bidding In any case, he said, the hospital needs to follow proper bidding procedures more closely In connection with the roofing project, Smith said. Conner told the board the bid of the D. C. Taylor Roofing Co. of Cedar Rapids appeared excessive and offered to take the bid paper and study them. Then. “without further proceedings or board approval,” workmen employed by Conner started work on the roof, the audit said. It added that when the job was finished in September. 1973, Conner presented a bill for $18,799. which was paid. Plans Received For Elderly Housing Project IOWA CITY - Iowa City has received th rn* proposals for an elderly housing project. By the Monday deadline, two downtown and a resi-dental site had been proposed. The First Christian church proposed a location at the west end of Chauncey Swan plaza. Old Capitoul Associates proposed a structure at the northeast corner of Dubuque and Court streets. Mid-States Development. Inc., of Sioux City, proposed a site on West Benton street immediately east of the Hillsboro apartments. All three developments call for appoximately 62 units. : A public meeting is scheduled on the three sites for Dee. 12 with the city council expected to give a decision on the final site development by Dec. 17. Fish Favori A seafood selection that brings yon back to Bishops. When it s fish you re yearning for, Bishops is the place for you. Our ever-changing selection includes Red Snapper, South African Whiting, Filet of Sole. Perch, Haddock. Walleyed Pike and Baked Turbot Amandine Fish .. another of the foods that bring you back to Bishops Stop in soon. YOU'LL FIND    ofllcdUJt WURL JUST A Lime Ti Jjiihop >4 BUFFET • Lindale Plaza CAFETERIA • Downtown I r ;

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