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Keokuk Mayor: Lawsuit Still Possible


One southeast Iowa mayor says legal action remains possible if Lee County chooses to consolidate county services.

Keokuk Mayor Tom Marion has talked about filing a lawsuit for months, even showing off the first page during his State of the City address last winter.

He said he cannot proceed, though, until the supervisors take some sort of action to remove county services from Keokuk.

“If they vote to do that, the (Keokuk City) Council would have to make a decision on my recommendation," Marion said.  "If they don’t want to do it, then personally, myself, I would try to raise money from other people and do that myself.”

Marion said, in the meantime, he plans to continue talking to members of the Board of Supervisors to encourage them to keep services in Keokuk.

He said he will also reach out to the other mayors in Lee County to see about putting together a new committee to review the issue.

Marion is convinced the volunteer committee that recommended a single courthouse near the Lee County Jail was biased towards consolidation.


Keokuk’s Oakland Cemetery could be a topic of conversation during the city council’s budget talks early next year.

On-Air Version

The cemetery is maintained by a two-person department, plus a supervisor.

Aldermen recently talked about its condition after receiving a complaint from a resident.

Marion regularly drives through the 100 acre site, which has more than 75,000 monuments.  He told the city council, recently, that the cemetery does not always look as pristine as it should.

Marion said volunteers are coming out and helping.

"Because they want things to look nice," Marion said, "and I don't blame them.  But I am not encouraging people to do it because again, we should be doing it.”

The city has no money budgeted for contracting out the work.

Marion suggested employees from other departments could help when they are less busy, though that would have to be negotiated.

It was eventually suggested to take a closer look at cemetery upkeep when the city budget is developed this winter.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.