Chinese students tour Dallas County government offices


About 20 members of the Chinese Association of Iowa visited Adel Tuesday morning as part of their two-week sojourn in the U.S. They started their tour of the departments of county government by dropping in on the Dallas County Board of Supervisors, who were meeting in chambers.

Swallow Yan, executive director of the Chinese Association of Iowa, introduced the visiting members of the association to the Dallas County Board of Supervisors at their Tuesday morning meeting. Yan said the students, who range in age from 10 to 20, were getting a large dose of U.S. presidential politics this summer.

“We have seen Donald Trump twice and now will see Hillary Clinton today, Yan said.

“But that’s not fair,” said Dallas County Board of Supervisors Chair Mark Hanson, “to see Hillary only once and the Donald twice.”

“It’s Hillary’s fault,” Yan said jokingly.

“Lock her up,” someone growled from amid the usually inert audience at the supervisors’ meeting.

The supervisors then explained some of the basics of local government funding to the young people, and the visitors in turn asked questions about U.S. customs and practices.

Dallas County Attorney Wayne Reisetter, the sole Democrat among the county’s elected officeholders, met the young visitors in the courtroom of Fifth Judicial District Judge Virginia Cobb and explained to them the U.S. justice system and the system of local courts.

“This gives the Chinese students an opportunity for a clearer understanding,” Reisetter said, “and as expected there was some misunderstanding as well, which would also be the case with American high school students.”

The student tourists also visited the offices of the county assessor, treasurer and recorder before lunch, and then turned to the county jail for a tour.

Dallas County Planning and Development Senior Planner Samuel Larson guided the visitors on their tour, which included lunch at the Italian Villages. Brenna Young, co-owner of the Italian Villages, said the students were “running a little late, but they were hungry when they got here.”

This is the fifth year the Chinese Association of Iowa and the Iowa Youth Leadership International have sponsored the two-week journeys.

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