REAP Regional Assemblies
View the list of Delegates to the 2012 REAP Congress
- Please email the REAP Coordinator if your contact information needs to be updated/changed.
Learn more about REAP
Regional REAP Assemblies are a must to attend for people interested in any facet of REAP ---- particularly those who truly and sincerely want to make a difference.
There are 18 assemblies held every two years in the areas of Iowa's 18 Councils of Government.
The first order of business at each assembly is to elect a chairperson from the audience. The primary jobs of the chairperson are to keep the meeting progressing and on track and make sure everyone has a chance to speak.
REAP Assemblies are basically public meetings at which information is given out and ideas are taken in by the attending state officials. The REAP law requires the following things happen at each assembly:
- The DNR provides those attending with information regarding REAP expenditures. The overall REAP budget is presented and projects in the region are listed that have been funded with REAP dollars.
- People attending the assemblies shall identify opportunities for regional REAP projects. Examples that have frequently come up are trails, river corridor protection, wetland restoration, soil erosion prevention, conservation education, and resource inventories.
- People attending the assemblies shall also review and recommend changes to REAP policies, programs, and funding. This is the portion of the meeting that people speak out on anything they want regarding the inner workings of REAP.
- And last but not least, the people at the assemblies are responsible for electing five individuals to serve on the REAP Congress. In addition to the five delegates, 3-5 other people are elected as alternates to the delegates. In the event that one of the delegates cannot attend the Congress, an alternate fills that spot.
Rules of the election are not pre-established, so the chairperson must first lead the audience through a process that determines how this democracy will specifically work. Several ways have been developed to select delegates and alternates. In regions having exactly five counties, the tendency is to have county caucuses. Each caucus individually elects a delegate and alternate. The election process gets more involved for other regions. The rules in regions with less than five counties often assure that at least one delegate is elected from each county. Nominations are typically taken from the floor until the audience feels there are enough candidates to cover all aspects of REAP. The candidates are then given an opportunity to make a "campaign speech", which basically includes the background and interests of the person. Votes are then cast on a written ballot or by a show of hands. The top vote-getters become the delegates and alternates according to the predetermined distribution among the counties. The same process is basically used in regions with more than five counties, except the assembly typically specifies that no one county can have more than one delegate. In these situations, at least one alternate comes from each county that does not have a delegate. As you can see, it is important to people attending the assemblies that delegates and alternates be aligned by county boundaries and the distribution of elected people be as equal and fair as possible among all counties.
A completely different approach has been used at some assemblies. It entails filling delegate and alternative slots one at a time. In this situation, nominations are taken from the floor for one "seat" at the Congress. Nominations are typically ceased after 3-4 nominations. "Campaign speeches" are then given and votes are cast by show of hands. The top vote getter fills the slot. The process is then repeated for the next seat --- nominations, campaign speeches, and vote by show of hands. This iteration is used until all delegate and alternate seats are filled. Even with this process, rules are established to assure that delegates and alternates are distributed as equally and fairly as possible among the counties.
The next REAP assemblies will be held during September and October of 2013.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Wallace State Office Building, Des Moines, IA 50319