SIOUX CITY | The leader of a Sioux City taxpayer watchdog group will leave his position next month.

Taxpayers Research Council Executive Director James Van Bruggen has led the organization for five years.

TRC board Chairman Jim Johnson, of Sioux City, said Van Bruggen's  analytical skills in reviewing spending and budget decisions of the Sioux City Council, Woodbury County Board and Sioux City school district will be missed.

"James has represented our organization very well, advocating strongly that taxpayers deserve to have their money spent cost effectively and efficiently," Johnson said.

"His thorough and insightful scrutiny of the budgetary process will be missed."

Van Bruggen's final day with the TRC will be June 13. He has accepted a budget management analyst position with the state of Nebraska, requiring a move for his family.

"This is a career advancement for me. I hope for the best for the community, and I will keep tabs on what's happening in this community," Van Bruggen said.

He began working for TRC in March 2009. Janeese Martin led the group from 2000 through 2008.

Van Bruggen said he has enjoyed the relationships built with the various officials he's worked with. He said the three taxing entities during his tenure have generally become more mindful of how their decisions impact resident pocketbooks.

The Taxpayers Research Council will form a search committee to hire the next executive director. The nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group was founded in 1937.

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County and education reporter

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