Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Lee County Treasurer Cutting Service

Lee County will drop one days of issuing driver's licenses due to staffing issues.

Lee County Treasurer Chris Spann took office in January after running on a platform of re-opening the driver's license bureau in Keokuk, which had been closed since an office consolidation in 2011. She was able to re-open the bureau a few months ago, but maintaining services in both Keokuk and Fort Madison has proved difficult.

"I am supposed to have eight employees, plus myself, is nine," said Spann. "I've had one that's been off for three months and I have had [employees] bid out of the office [for other county jobs], so I have new employees who can't step into those roles."

Spann believes people are leaving the job because of the stress associated with it as well as the pay. 

Credit Jason Parrott / TSPR
Lee County Treasurer Chris Spann

  She has asked the Lee County Board of Supervisors on several occasions for additional employees to no avail. So this week, she informed the board that she is changing the schedule for issuing driver's licenses.

Licenses will continue to be issued in Keokuk on Wednesdays and Fridays and in Fort Madison on Mondays and Thursdays. But starting January 1, licenses will no longer be issued in Fort Madison on Tuesdays.

Instead, that day will be used for mandatory driving tests in Fort Madison.

"Sharing two days a week in each place is the fair thing to do serve the entire county," said Spann.

Vehicle registration will occur those same days while the tax department is open weekdays in Fort Madison.

Spann said her staffing issues go beyond training new employees or vacation/sick leave. She said when the county consolidated four offices in 2011, the treasurer's office lost two employees to attrition.  Spann said while she would love to have those two employees back, even one additional worker would mean a lot.

"I would at least like to start with one more. I could compromise and try with ten, absolutely," said Spann.

Spann said her office's proposed budget for next year will include a request for that extra employee. 

Whether the Board of Supervisors will go along with that remains to be seen. Chairman Ron Fedler questioned how busy Spann's office is, stating he observed very few people needing services during a couple recent trips to the county office building.

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