The Governor’s pick to head the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is one step closer to being confirmed for the job by the Iowa Senate. But questions about Jeffrey Vonk’s management style were raised yesterday during a confirmation hearing. Vonk was the U-S-D-A’s State Conservationist in Iowa for four years in the early 1990s, and five farmers have contacted Senator Mike Sexton to complain about Vonk’s work. Sexton says farmers were concerned they had to go to court and that ended up costing them a lot of money when they ended up being right.Vonk defended his work and admitted his work was bound to make some people angry. But he says he always tried to work with people who didn’t like his decisions.Sexton, who is a republican farmer from Rockwell City, says Vonk handled the tough questions well and has demonstrated he would abide by the law.Vonk must get 34 “Yes” votes from state Senators in order to serve as D-N-R director. Vonk left his job as the U-S-D-A’s top conservationist in California to return to Iowa. He replaces Paul Johnson of Decorah who resigned from the D-N-R last year.
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