Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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April 18, 2009

Sullivan’s Salvos 4/21/09

Johnson County is receiving $236,000 in Federal Stimulus money specifically for energy efficiency. This will likely go toward renovations to improve the energy efficiency of the Administration Building. And when we improve energy efficiency, we save tax dollars.

Special thanks to the staffs of Senator Harkin and Congressman Loebsack for their assistance in helping Johnson County to benefit from this program.

One year ago, Johnson County signed on to the Sierra Club “Cool Counties” program. At roughly the same time, Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty signed on as Sierra Club “Cool Cities”.

That is great, right? We are all green here! Regrettably, very little has happened since these agreements were signed.

One of the key components of becoming a Cool County or Cool City is the creation of a citizen advisory committee. I was one of many folks who thought it made sense to make this advisory committee regional, rather than having 4 separate committees. Most elected officials felt similarly, so it was decided that the advisory committee would be a committee of the Johnson County Council of Governments (JCCOG).

The JCCOG committee finally met in very late March. Better late than never, obviously. One would think that applying green principles to flood recovery would have made a lot of sense. What’s more, much of the Federal Stimulus Plan had a green focus. We may have really missed out by delaying so long!

Meanwhile, no big initiatives have come from Johnson County or our cities. Discussion of green ideas keeps getting pushed to the back burner.

The people assigned to this committee are great people. They can advise all they want, but at some point, elected officials need to get moving.

So, next time you hear something from Johnson County, North Liberty, Iowa City or Coralville touting how “green” they are, hold them accountable. Make sure they are doing more than lip service. What actual steps have been taken? Earth Day is coming up. Hold your local elected officials accountable when they show up for their photo ops. Let’s demand some real progress!

So… do you know any seniors or people with disabilities? Imagine for a moment that former Presidents Reagan, Bush, or Bush had gotten their way, and Social Security had been privatized. How do you think those seniors would have fared financially over the past 8-9 months?

Rest assured, the market will recover. No one knows exactly when, but it will recover. And then the cry to privatize Social Security will resume. Remember this period in our lives when those ideas are next floated.

Johnson County will have a sale of used computers, monitors, printers and other computer related equipment to general public. The sale dates will be Saturday May 2, from 9 – 12. The sale will take place at the new Health and Human Services Building, 855 South Dubuque Street. Persons wanting to purchase this equipment can find detailed information on the equipment and the terms of sale on our website at People without web access can call us at 356-6080 for assistance.

The Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce Buy Here Business Fair is April 23 beginning at 4 PM at the Holiday Inn in Coralville.

Most of the products and services you need, you can buy locally. Please take this opportunity to check out some of our fine local businesses.

The Great Garlic Mustard Challenge is happening once again, but 2009 has a twist… we have been challenged by the Quad Cities! In ’07, 2000 pounds were pulled. In ’08, we got up to 6000 pounds. We can rise to the challenge! Time to take the gloves off (actually, time to put them on) and pull some garlic mustard!

In case you are unaware, garlic mustard is among the most problematic of invasive species. There are really only two ways to eliminate it – burning and pulling. So Johnson County, Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, and the UI all have identified sites where garlic mustard needs to be pulled.

That is where you come in. Volunteers can visit for a complete list of the dates, times, and locations. The first date is Sunday, April 26 – check out the times today!

DID YOU KNOW? Iowa City ranks #9 in the US in terms of percentage of residents who commute by bike. (Source: JCCOG.)

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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