Operation: New View was created in 1974 as a partnership with Dubuque, Delaware and Jackson counties. Per agreement, each county is responsible for a percentage of debts and provides two supervisors to serve on the agency’s board.
In 2016, Jay Wickham was appointed Dubuque County supervisor to fill the seat vacated by the passing of Tom Hancock.
As supervisors, Daryl Klein and I had served on the New View board. We appointed Wickham to the New View board so he could get a better understanding of what the agency does for the people of Dubuque County.
During 2016-2018, he attended no more than three monthly meetings. According to Klein, Wickham stated that Operation: New View was not important to him.
Wickham’s only current interest in Operation: New View is shutting it down, just as he did when he gave a friend $30,000 of taxpayer money to oversee the General Assistance program. No bids went out, no discussion with the other two supervisors, just our money promised to a friend.
The county Veterans Affairs office had been doing a good job managing it, at no cost. Wickham decided to pay $30,000 for something that had not been costing us anything.
If Wickham had done his job, he would have seen some of New View’s problems coming and been part of a positive solution. His current interest is insincere. Wickham should carry out all the responsibilities and duties of the job he was elected to do.
He works at NICC, too. Maybe he needs to decide which of his jobs is more important.
Editor’s note: Demmer was a Dubuque County supervisor from 2005 to 17.