County Government Organization

Forms of Government

There are 3 basic forms of county government: Traditional Plural Executive Form (the current form in Black Hawk County); the Elected Executive Plan; and the County Manager Form. Under the County Charter Government Bill passed in 1988 by the Iowa General Assembly, counties are allowed to study and change that form.

Elected Officials

Elected Officials are the board of supervisors, recorder, treasurer, auditor, sheriff and county attorney. Each official is elected to a 4-year term.

Appointed Officials

Appointed Officials are appointed, or hired, by the Board of Supervisors to manage administrative departments. The following department heads serve at the pleasure of the Board of Supervisors:

Board of Health

Appointments for some officials are handled differently, such as the Health Department, Conservation and Veterans' Affairs. The Health Department and Conservation are their own "Employer of Record" so are not part of county bargaining units. The director of the Health Department is appointed by the Board of Health, whose 5 members are appointed to 3 year terms by the Board of Supervisors.

Conservation Board

The executive director for Conservation is appointed by the Conservation Board. Appointments to the 5 member board are made by the Board of Supervisors and serve 5 year terms.

  • Mike Hendrickson, Conservation Interim Executive Director, Conservation

Veteran's Affairs Commission

The director for Veterans Affairs is appointed by the Veterans' Commission. Appointments to the 5 member commission are made by the Board of Supervisors. Commissioners serve 3 year staggered terms.

Associate Official

Associate Official refers to the assessor. The county assessor is appointed by a Conference Board that consists of members of the Board of Supervisors, a representative from each of the school districts and the mayor from each of the cities in the county. Term of appointment is 6 years. The assessor's budget is appropriated by its own tax levy, unlike other departments.