Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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October 5, 2008

Sullivan’s Salvos 10/7/08

The Durrant Group is holding its final public meeting to solicit feedback on a justice center for Johnson County. This meeting is Wednesday, October 8 at 5:30 PM in Room A of the Iowa City Public Library.

Does Johnson County need a new jail? A new courthouse? A combination? If so, what should be included? Where should it be? How large should it be? How much should it cost? How should it be financed? Are there other things that need to be discussed?

If you have opinions on any or all of this, please show up and share your thoughts. The Board has not made any decisions… we need to hear from the public first!

The Board will be discussing the Land Use Plan as it applies to growth areas on Friday, October 10 at 9 AM in the Boardroom at the County Administration Building.

Currently, there are really only two identified “growth areas” in Johnson County – unincorporated villages (such as Sharon Center and Sutliff) and the area generally referred to as the “North Corridor” (roughly everything north of I-80 between highways 965 and 1).

Do the existing growth areas make sense? Are they too large? Are they too small? As you probably know, the defining of growth areas has historically been a very contentious topic. It would be great to have interested citizens attend and weigh in!

A Republican friend of mine and I were talking the other day, and he began teasing me about the upcoming Presidential election.

He got in a few good digs, and we both had a good laugh. But when he was done, he said something that really stuck with me:

“Oh, well, Sully. You and I will be just fine either way, won’t we?”

I have no doubt that this statement was meant to be a way of closing the topic rather than giving me all kinds of socio-psycho fodder. But I can’t get this comment out of my head.

You see, my friend nailed it. He is quite successful, and though he is far from the “top 1% of earners” we hear so much about, he earns six figures per year. I am not as well off financially as him, but I, too, have been blessed. Neither of us wants for much.

We both did pretty well during the Clinton years. We both got 96% of the way through the Bush years pretty much unscathed.

Perhaps one could argue that the results of this election do not matter to my friend and I. But we are exceptions to the rule! The fact is, this election REALLY MATTERS to millions of Americans! For example:

*60% of all households in the US earn less than $56,000. 60%! I do not personally know everyone that receives Salvos, but I know enough people to recognize that many of us do better than $56,000.

*My friend and I both have good health insurance. Yet 16% of all Americans are uninsured. I know that many Salvos readers fare much better.

*My friend and I both send our children to outstanding public schools. So do most Salvos readers. But that is not the case for many urban and rural families across the US.

*Neither my friend nor I lost anyone close to us in 9-11 or in Katrina, but mismanagement by a government that put Republican Party ideology ahead of national interests and ahead of human life DID cost thousands of American lives.

*To the best of my knowledge, no Salvos readers have lost a child in the Iraq War. Similarly, it is doubtful that many of us have children who have been asked to torture a suspect, hold someone without charge, or wiretap a fellow American. It has not happened to my friend or I, yet this has happened regularly over the past eight years.

I have only touched on a few of the many reasons that this election matters. We have foreign policy, energy policy, global warming, civil rights, immigration, and hundreds of additional issues.

These issues may or may not directly impact my friend and I. But the issues matter. This election matters!

Johnson County recently received a report from our insurance agent, and the results should make our taxpayers proud!

Johnson County is part of the Iowa Municipal Worker’s Comp Association (IMWCA). According to our agent, Johnson County is the “poster child” for how to do things correctly.

Employers are rated on a scale of 1.0 being average. If you do a bit worse than average, you will be a 1.1; do a bit better, and you’ll be at 0.9.

Johnson County is rated at .77 – the second lowest score among about a thousand insured employers! This is remarkable given the fact that we have over 500 employees, many of whom are engaged in a wide variety of potentially dangerous activities.

This excellent score is because of all the work Johnson County has put into our Safety Committee, departmental safety meetings, good equipment, proper training, good signage, etc.

What does this mean to Johnson County taxpayers? The difference between a score of 1.0 and our .77 is about $250,000 annually!

Congratulations to all the fine County employees whose efforts make this possible!

Happy 40th Birthday to the Mid Eastern Iowa Community Mental Health Center! Community Mental Health has now been helping residents of Johnson and neighboring counties since 1968.

Mental Health is a huge budget item for Johnson County, and we are extremely fortunate to have great partners like the Mid Eastern Iowa Community Mental Health Center. Congratulations on 40 years!

DID YOU KNOW? Based upon the responses of the 64 local companies reporting to the Iowa City Area Development Group (ICAD), estimates call for 1,357 new jobs in the next 3 years in Johnson County.

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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