Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds is defending the man Governor Branstad asked to lead the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management division.
In the past six months, Derek Hill has been out of the office for more than 40 days, as he took a vacation in Arizona and fulfilled his training requirements as a member of the National Guard.
“We’ve stressed over and over, complimented businesses and agencies for doing what they can to make sure that they meet the needs of our individuals that are serving in the National Guard,” Reynolds says. “And General Hill is no different.”
Reynolds says Hill has kept in constant electronic contact with the state’s emergency management team, sending email and taking cell phone calls while he’s been out of the office. The lieutenant governor recently toured flooded areas of western Iowa with one of the deputies in the emergency management division.
“We went to Monona County. I visited the Highway 175 bridge and then down to Council Bluffs,” Reynolds says. “I actually heard nothing but praise from the individuals that I met with on the collaboration and the coordination that was being done.”
The governor’s emergency management chief is both a lawyer and a career military man who transferred to the Iowa National Guard in 2003.