State lawmaker shadows Dallas County officeholders

Dallas County Treasurer Mitch Hambleton, left, and Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart, right, were job shadowed last week by Rep. Rob Taylor (R-West Des Moines) in a bid to foster greater understanding of county government in state legislators.

ADEL — Students of government sometimes shadow public officeholders in order to learn the ins and outs of public service. This week a student of another kind, Rep. Rob Taylor (R-West Des Moines), tracked the actions of Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart and Dallas County Treasurer Mitch Hambleton.

Airhart, legislative liaison for the Iowa County Recorders Association Board, invited the three-term state representative to spend a day in the Recorder’s and Treasurer’s offices and see for himself the day-to-day duties of county-level employees.

“It is important for our legislators to see and hear firsthand some of the issues we deal with at the county level administering government,” Airhart said. He said shadow invitations have been extended to other Dallas County legislators, and the idea has been proposed to the Iowa Association of Counties to set up a statewide job-shadowing program.

Hambleton said the aim of the shadowing exercise is to give state legislators a greater awareness of how bills the pass affect county operations.

“Having our legislators shadow us helps them to better understand county issues when they arise at the legislature,” Hambleton said. “It is our hope that this shadowing will help our legislators to be better advocates for county government at the state capitol.”

Taylor said he saw many satisfied constituents while shadowing Airhart and Hambleton and overheard interesting questions regarding processes and guidelines set by the legislature.

“I want to thank Recorder Airhart and Treasurer Hambleton for allowing me the opportunity to job shadow both of them to further understand and support local government,” Taylor said. “The professionalism from both of them is top notch. I really enjoyed watching the dynamics between Airhart and Hambleton and their employees. Dallas County is fortunate to have a dedicated group of employees working for them, and all our citizens should be proud of that.”

Taylor, a Des Moines native, graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1989. He earned an associate of arts degree from the Des Moines Area Community College, a bachelor of science degree from Upper Iowa University and a master’s degree in business leadership from William Penn University.

Taylor works for a petroleum distributor as a sales director. He and his wife, Christi, have four children, and they live in West Des Moines.


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