Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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January 10, 2009

Sullivan’s Salvos 1/13/09

As you know, we recognize the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior’s Birthday next Monday. We will REALLY make a statement the next day, on January 20, when we inaugurate President Obama.

As the parents of three African American children, we have attempted to explain the significance of these men and these moments… I’m not entirely sure we even fully understand. This really is a special time. Enjoy.

We all know that there are economic troubles around the globe. In light of this, I have heard a few folks ask why the County isn’t making budget cuts. There are several reasons.

First and foremost, we have significant needs. Governmental services are vital to our achievement of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Several governmental services simply cannot go away. People depend upon County services.

Secondly, a huge majority of the residents of Johnson County DO NOT WANT cuts in services. They expect the same levels of service from Sheriff, Ambulance, Health, Roads, Social Services, etc. As a matter of fact, I get 20 times more requests for additional services than I get requests for cuts.

Thirdly, our budget right now is solid. There is no need to make drastic cuts at this time. I am confident we can meet our demands without raising taxes and without cutting services.

Fourthly, over 75% of the County budget goes toward personnel. The Board is certainly going to scrutinize any new hires… personally, I am against any new hires at this time. We will also need to review the staffing in each department, and look at ways to keep our personnel costs low. It is important to understand that significant budget cuts mean cuts in personnel. Right now, layoffs are not needed, and would be very counterproductive. There may come a day when such cuts are necessary, but that time is not now.

In short, big cuts are not called for at this time. The Board is working very hard to minimize any tax increases… if I get my way, tax bills are going to stay pretty close to the same as last year. I think we can do that without hurting the people of Johnson County.

A careful approach should allow us to weather the storm. If not, we will still have time to act when we need to act. That is in accordance with what the vast majority of the people of Johnson County want.

In a related matter, a friend sent me the following NY Times article by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman. It talks about the importance of government spending during an economic downturn.

The Johnson County Long Term Recovery Committee invites property owners who sustained damage during last summer’s flood to participate in a comprehensive assessment of unmet needs.

Trained and supervised volunteer teams from the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) Disaster Response Services will be available to meet with residents January 12–17.
Teams of CRWRC volunteers will conduct surveys at Iowa City City Hall and at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church at the following times:

Monday, January 12 9:00 am – 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, January 13 9:00 am – 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 14 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 15 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday, January 16 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 17 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Appointments are encouraged and may be made by contacting United Way of Johnson County at 338-7823. The assessment takes approximately 30 minutes, and the first 200 participants will receive a $25 gift card to Hy-Vee.

The Obama for America folks are hosting a benefit concert for the Crisis Center on Friday, January 16 from 7-11 at the Mill. Several great acts are featured, including Jeffrey Morgan, Kol Shira, Pigs and Clover, Pandelirium, and Shinbone Alley. Admission is two cans of fruit or hearty soup.

A big part of the Obama campaign was the slogan, “We are the change we have been waiting for.” This is a great example of that ethic!

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2008 IOWATER Awards. Nominate your projects, groups, peers, and yourselves. Nomination deadline is January 30, 2009.
Click here for a Nomination Form

DID YOU KNOW? The percentage of Iowans receiving food assistance went up 90% from 200-2007. (Source: Iowa Kids Count.)

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!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, Rod - but government services are NOT vital to most people's life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Government should only do for the people what we can not do for ourselves. The more government does for us, the less we do for our selves. Socialism here we come. And I will be one of those saying - no, absolutely not - we do not need more government services - we need less. I am not willing to pay higher taxes and am planning to file to have my tax assessment lowered because of the drop in my property value - and am strongly encouraging everyone else I know to do so also. JoCo government is in deep trouble and you guys are so clueless you don't even know it.

January 13, 2009 at 2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are only some people who want more government in their lives Rod. Those are the ones who feel government owes them something. They are the same people who have their hands out expecting the government to take care of them. The more you give the more they want.

Do you really think it is government's job to supply us with services to attain "life, liberty and the persuit of happiness". Government should only supply us with the freedom to attain those things ourselves.

Cut spending on the un-necessary. And yes there is a lot of that going on in this county.

I don't understand your seemingly brag about more people in Iowa using food stamps, that is NOT something to be proud of.

January 13, 2009 at 4:59 PM  

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