The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission elected a new chair for the first time in four years at its meeting today in West Des Moines. Jeff Lamberti of Ankeny, handed the gavel over to Rich Arnold of Russell.
“Four years is a long time to do it, and we’ve had a lot of issues, it’s been very busy and so I am happy to turn it over to somebody else,” Lamberti says, “plus I do believe that turnover in that position is healthy.”
Lamberti’s time as chair of the commission was set to expire in 2014, but a legislative committee approved a change to extend the term limit from two to four years.
Lamberti says it was a good decision at the time based on the issues facing the commission.”We were as my two years were coming up, we were kind of in the midst of a lot of different things, and my members wanted if I would do it to serve four years,” Lamberti explains. ” I don’t think we will see a lot (of chairs) serving four years, it was kind of a unique set of circumstances.”
The IRGC was in the midst of taking applications for new licenses two years ago and also had the ongoing legal action over the closing of the Sioux City casino riverboat. Lamberti is a lawyer and former state legislator. Arnold is a farmer and small business owner.