Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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October 12, 2008

Sullivan’s Salvos 10/14/08

Johnson County has several potential openings on several high profile Boards and Commissions:

The Johnson County Compensation Commission, Johnson County Historic Preservation Commission, Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development Board, Johnson County Judicial Magistrates Appointing Commission, Johnson County Trails Advisory Committee, Johnson County Zoning Board of Adjustment, and Johnson County Planning and Zoning Commission all have openings, just to name a few.

Terms of the members are coming due in December; see the County website at: for more information.

Assuming all continues to go according to plan, the new Johnson County Health and Human Services building opens in six-seven weeks. This is a very exciting proposition… the Iowa Department of Human Services and Juvenile Court Services, and the Johnson County Departments of Public Health, Social Services, Mental Health and Disability Services, Veteran’s Affairs, General Assistance, and Information Services will all be moving into the new building.

This building will be a positive in many ways:

1. Johnson County was paying about $300,000 in rent annually to house these Departments. That amount will be zero as of February 2009. If you are a fiscal conservative, you should like this move.

2. These Departments were literally located all over Iowa City. Their co-location will allow huge savings of time and money for both the public and County government. If you are a fiscal conservative, you should like this move.

3. Because it is a LEED Silver Certified building, Johnson County will save thousands of dollars annually on utility bills. If you are a fiscal conservative, you should like this move.

4. Pretty much every Department listed was bursting at the seams. There was simply no room left. The new building will provide adequate space while allowing for future growth at virtually no cost. If you are a fiscal conservative, you should like this move.

5. This new building is being built WITHOUT – I repeat, WITHOUT – any type of tax increase. Johnson County has been putting away money for this structure for about 7 years. It will be completely paid off in about two more years. If you are a fiscal conservative, you should like this move.

This is a very handsome yet extremely functional building. I encourage everyone to keep an eye out for the Grand Opening, and I urge you to stop down and check it out.

I do have one regret. The Board decided to name the building the “Health and Human Services Building”. Original, huh? Actually, I wholeheartedly support this name. I think it is important for the name of the building to explain its function clearly to the public. If you call it the “Smith Building”, that means nothing to the general public. Heath and Human Services Building tells the public exactly what the building houses, and where they ought to go.

My regret is that the Board decided not to name any rooms in the building. I was particularly interested in naming a conference room, or lobby, or something, after Carol Thompson.

Carol Thompson was the member of the Board of Supervisors whose seat I won. In addition to serving 6 years on the Board, Carol spent her whole professional career (30 years, give or take) running DHS, MH/DD, and Juvenile Court. I am certain no individual in the history of Johnson County has had a bigger impact in these areas. Naming something in this building after Carol just makes sense.

I recognize that the County has no policy on naming. Why would we? There hasn’t been a new building since 1985. So I understand that this is uncharted territory.

There is a precedent for this type of action, however. In 2007, the Board named the Courthouse Law Library the J. Patrick White Law Library. So it can be done; it has been done.

I hope the Board will decide to take this naming step at a future date. Carol deserves the recognition.

From Citizens for Tax Justice: When New Jersey enacted a new top income tax rate of nearly 9% on incomes of over $500,000, opponents of progressive tax policy issued dire warnings that the state's wealthiest residents would flee the state, with detrimental effects both on productivity and tax revenues.

Needless to say, those fears proved to be baseless, as a new report out of Princeton University shows that out-migration by wealthy New Jerseyans has been nothing more than a "small side-effect" of the tax hike -- a policy that raises over $1 billion annually for the state. 
Read More

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and that coincides with a couple community events. The 8th annual Pat Meyer Vision Award for outstanding commitment to end domestic violence will be presented to Officer Robert Hartman on Thursday, October 16 at 5:30 at the ICPL.

As you think about Domestic Violence, it is important to note that the local Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) is facing a funding crisis! The State of Iowa stepped up to fill in a gap when the Bush Administration made huge cuts, but the State money is drying up. Last year, over 120 local women were turned away because the shelter was too full.

How can you help? Ask your elected officials (at all levels of government) to support these important programs!

I got the following joke from a friend – as an elected official, this really rings true!

An old man, a boy & a donkey were going to town. The boy rode on the donkey & the old man walked.

As they went along they passed some people who remarked it was a shame the old man was walking and the boy was riding.

The man and boy thought maybe the critics were right so they changed positions.

Then, later, they passed some people who remarked, 'What a shame, he makes that little boy walk.'

So they then decided they'd both walk! Soon they passed some more people who thought they were stupid to walk when they had a decent donkey to ride.

So, they both rode the donkey.

Now they passed some people who shamed them by saying how awful to put such a load on a poor donkey.

The boy and man figured they were probably right, so they decide to carry the donkey.

As they crossed the bridge, they lost their grip on the animal and he fell into the river and drowned.

The moral of the story?

If you try to please everyone, you might as well...Kiss your ass good-bye!

DID YOU KNOW? Johnson County ranks #4 among Iowa’s 99 counties in population, but only ranks #87 in terms of spending on conservation.

Anyone interested in learning more about County government should take a look at the County website- .

"Sullivan’s Salvos" is sent once per week to any interested party. It will give a brief update on issues of interest to Johnson County residents.

These messages come solely from Rod Sullivan, and neither represents the viewpoints of the whole Board of Supervisors nor those of groups or individuals otherwise mentioned.

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As always, feel free to contact me at 354-7199 or I look forward to serving you!



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