The Jefferson Iowa News®


  County Seat Completes Move to Goose Lake

Due to a long-forgotten clause in the Greene County constitution, the county seat was recently transferred from Jefferson to nearby Goose Lake on November 10, 2008. Apparently, at one time Goose Lake was considered the new up-and-coming city in Greene County. Everyone assumed that by this time it would be fairly obvious that the town of Jefferson (which people thought would be unpopulated after 1970) would have served its purpose and everything would be ready and in place for Goose Lake to take over.

After all, with the river dammed up, Goose Lake was projected to be the largest lake in Iowa and have a winter population of approximately 15,000, swelling to 25,000 in the summer. It was also assumed that typical community infrastructure would be in place, and the transition would be gradual, taking place over several years.

Unfortunately, these records were lost and went undetected for several generations until uncovered only recently. In a recent Iowa Court of Appeals ruling, Jefferson was ordered to honor the original agreement as written, and the transition took place virtually overnight.

As no buildings currently exist at Goose Lake, the "new" court house has been designated as "the conjunction of two or more picnic tables", and the recorder's office is currently located in the women's outhouse. The lack of computer connections has not hampered the quality of service in the slightest way, as none were used previously at the "old" courthouse.

The first day of court at the new location was unfortunately rained out, but funds have been appropriated for the purchase and maintenance of an EZ-Up tent. Fourteen permanent full-time county employees have been hired to erect this structure. Other complaints overheard included several county employees complaining about the long, time-consuming commute to and from the lake, which is located about six miles northwest of town.

Area farmer Clevus Larssen becomes the de facto mayor, as he owns most of the land surrounding the entrance to the lake. His only concern seems to be the large number of bullfrogs currently breeding near the lake, fearing they may attract sharks, as reported by Jefferson Iowa News in a recent article entitled "Mako Sharks Found Infesting Goose Lake".

It remains to be seen where the remaining staff of 634 county employees will find office space, or if it is actually needed. Prior to this news release, nearly 100% of Greene County residents were unaware of the change, and could not identify the need for these county employees in the first place.

submitted by Rick Bland, city editor