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Area gains a presence on state boards, commissions

Three local people step forward to serve

As anyone with a passing knowledge of civics knows, Iowa has three branches of government, each with different roles. The legislature writes the laws, the governor ensures that the laws are carried out and the courts decide if the laws are legal and constitutional.

The executive branch, led by the governor as the chief executive of the state, includes lots of boards and commissions that provide both insight and oversight. These panels do everything from guiding the care of state parks to determining who should be licensed to practice dentistry.

The Fort Dodge region now has a voice on some of those panels as a result of three appointments recently made by Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Jim Kersten, of Fort Dodge, was named to the Iowa Board of Corrections, which oversees the state’s prison system. Kersten, a vice president at Iowa Central Community College, has already been working with the Department of Corrections through the training programs the college offers to inmates to help them prepare for jobs upon their release.

Having a local voice on the Board of Corrections is key because there are two prisons in the region: the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility and the North Central Correctional Facility in Rockwell City.

Rachel Judisch was named to the Board of Physical and Occupational Therapy. That panel sets the standards for licensing physical and occupational therapists.

Brad Bleam, of Rockwell City, was appointed to the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission, which works to protect the state’s land, air and water by curbing pollution.

Bleam, Judisch and Kersten are taking on additional burdens to serve their state. They deserve our thanks for doing so.

They are also setting an example of service to others that the rest of us should follow.

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