President’s Message – December/January 2014

On November 5, the voters approved the Polk County Safety Judicial System Bond Referendum. This was a great day for our community as a whole. With its passage, our historic Polk County Courthouse will be preserved and we can look forward to a future where Polk County residents will have the necessary facilities for the judicial resolution of disputes.

The success of the measure is due in large part to the leaders of the effort – Mary Kramer, Martha Willits, and E.J. Giovannetti. On behalf of the Polk County Bar Association Board, I thank them for their leadership, hard work, and dedication.

As you know, the PCBA was significantly involved in the effort and all members should be proud of the involvement of the legal community in the successful outcome. On behalf of the PCBA Board, I thank all law firms and PCBA members who contributed to the effort and worked to get the vote out. Special thanks to former PCBA President Steve Eckley, PCBA member Michael Kuehner, and PCBA Executive Director Carol Burdette for their hard work in support of the measure.

This effort started in 2008 when a referendum was voted on by Polk County residents. The PCBA, through the tireless efforts of Guy Cook and Eric Turner, led the effort for its passage. Although the referendum did not pass, the vote was critical to the success of last November’s vote because it provided a clear direction for a reshaped proposal that was approved on November 5 by 67 percent of the vote.

This effort is one example of the importance of the PCBA. The organization strives to serve its members and to promote the legal community. As we end the year, we are in the process of membership renewal. With approximately 1,500 of your fellow Polk County attorneys belonging to the PCBA, we are proud of our broad-based membership and of the valuable services and benefits that PCBA provides to the Bar, Bench and Community.

By renewing your membership, you will receive access to two free CLE programs that provide all ethics and regular CLE credits needed for the year. The PCBA membership offers many other advantages. There are networking opportunities, including meetings of our various committees, receptions for judges, the annual Bench-Bar golf outing, an evening at an I-Cubs game, a Drake basketball game, and Civic Center events (members get access to premium seats at discounted prices); not to mention our monthly member luncheons and occasional evening social gatherings. Members also receive our bi-monthly newsletter and have privileged access to our website, The website includes articles and links to important information that can be helpful in your practice.

In addition, with the payment of your dues, the PCBA will continue to provide services to both the judiciary and the community. For example, with your dues, the PCBA supports the Polk County Volunteer Lawyers Project that assists approximately 1,000 indigent individuals every year. The PCBA also sponsors the PCBA Mediation Program providing all Polk County litigants with alternative dispute resolution.

On behalf of the PCBA Board of Directors, I thank you for your continued membership, support, and participation in the PCBA. If you have any questions or concerns about your membership or would like to get more involved in the PCBA, please do not hesitate to contact me or the Association’s Executive Director, Carol Burdette. We are here to serve you.