Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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September 6, 2009

Sullivan’s Salvos 9/8/09

We have apples! They are excellent for baking, and pretty good right off the tree. We have more than we could ever use… feel free to share in our bounty! Please contact me if you would like to come pick some.

School Board elections are today across Johnson County. Perhaps the most amazing thing about these elections is how few people actually vote.

In the ICCSD, the records for both raw turnout (5,341) and percentage turnout (8.6%) were set in 1999, when Don Jackson, Lauren Reece, and Dale Schultz were elected over Tom Thrams, incumbent Susan Mims, and Cindy Parsons. (Listed in order of most to least votes.)

2009 feels like a similar election. Six candidates. Budgetary issues. The community seems tuned in and focused on the race.

Even some of the players are the same. Dale Schultz is a Co-Chair of Sarah Swisher’s campaign. Susan Mims is now running for the Iowa City Council. Lauren Reece has publicly opined against the process used in the closing of Roosevelt Elementary.

There are some differences, however. For one thing, the population in the ICCSD has expanded tremendously in those 10 years, so the raw vote totals might be in jeopardy even if the percentage is not. It will be interesting, for example, to see how the burgeoning population of North Liberty responds.

So – let’s set a record. Get out and vote. Remember, polling places are different for school elections. See the Johnson County Auditor’s website at for more information.

Many observers of the Iowa City Council are calling for the heads of the councilors who concentrated low-income housing in a certain area of town.

Do these same people understand inclusive zoning? This is the idea that every new subdivision be required to contain a certain percentage of affordable housing. Theoretically, if you concentrate poverty, you create problems. An inclusive zoning ordinance would spread out lower income housing and stop this concentration.

Iowa City does not have inclusive zoning. There has never been a majority of the Council willing to require it. Ironically, the two people who seem to get the most criticism in this area (Karen Kubby and Amy Correia) have always favored inclusive zoning.

Karen and Amy did not create this situation. They are among the very few (Larry Baker, Mike Wright, perhaps a couple more) ever to serve on the IC Council who had the guts to vote to address the issue. Now they are being demonized.

Who DID concentrate this housing? Every councilor who ever opposed inclusive zoning. Which is pretty much everyone BUT Amy & Karen. If you must cast blame, look there. Not that casting blame will help. I urge more positive actions on the part of the citizenry. Just cut Amy & Karen some slack.

Now that school is in session, volunteers are everywhere. You may have seen recently that Iowa City ranked second nationally in terms of volunteerism. I have little doubt that this is true of the rest of the County as well. Thanks to all of you who selflessly donate your time!

I am SO sick of people bashing government! Government is GOOD. Government allows us to live together in a functioning society.

Does government screw up sometimes? Sure. So does the private sector. My point is that government is unfairly criticized.

I am going to write about something good (if not great!) that government does every single week. I hope you will join me in standing up to the BS and voicing your support for the many good things government does.

Let’s begin week one with a timely piece of good government – free universal public education. What a truly great thing – brought to you by government!

The 8th annual Field to Family Local Foods Festival is hosting several events this month.

A Culinary Walk to benefit the Johnson County Local Food Alliance (JCLFA) will be held September 10 from 5:30-8 PM. Tickets are $25 and are available at New Pi and the IMU Box Office.

A JCLFA Harvest Dinner will be held September 26 at 5:30 PM at the University Athletic Club. Tickets are $35 and are available at the IMU Box Office.

For a full calendar and more info on all the events, please visit the JCLFA website at:

The I-Renew Energy & Sustainability Expo 2009 will be held September 12 & 13 near Norway, Iowa. For more info, see:

DID YOU KNOW? Johnson County has a tremendous amount of information available on the H1N1 flu virus. For more info, see:

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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