Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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November 22, 2009

Sullivan’s Salvos 11/24/09

Happy Thanksgiving! Looking back, 2009 was a very difficult year for me. Yet I know that I am truly blessed. I have many things for which I am thankful – including the wonderful folks who read Salvos each week!

Thank you for your interest, friendship, and understanding. Have a great holiday - all my best to you and yours.

A little over a year ago, voters were kind enough to give me a second term as a County Supervisor. I thought it might be a good idea to check in on my campaign promises (established about 20 months ago) to see how I am doing.

1). Increase County commitment to the environment: The big thing that happened on this front was the Conservation Bond initiative. While I can hardly take credit for that issue passing, I am certainly proud of the role I played.

Besides the bond initiative, the Conservation Department is moving into a new headquarters. Their current (soon to be former) facility is outdated, undersized, and frankly, unsafe. The new facility should facilitate an improvement in the efficiency of the Conservation Department.

In addition to good things in the Conservation Department, Johnson County has adopted a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan – the first County in Iowa to do so. This plan implements some common sense energy savings along with LEED certified buildings, organized vanpools, and other ambitious goals.

2). Improve dust control: Johnson County adopted a new Chip Seal policy that allows individuals to pay for chip seals in front of their own properties. In addition, Johnson County has identified priority roads for upgrading from dirt to gravel and gravel to chip seal.

3). Support Human Services: While we have not increased funding for Human Services, the pot of money has not been cut. I am committed to maintaining a strong safety net for our least fortunate citizens. That includes a look at “unfreezing” the amount of money Johnson County puts toward Health & Human Services.

4). Update the County Land Use Plan: This was completed not long after the election. There were several improvements to the LUP, including a much smaller and more dense rural growth area, and an end to the “phasing” concept. Unincorporated villages have finally been given some attention – Frytown and Sutliff have development plans, and Cosgrove is in the works. Johnson County has done a much better job of protecting sensitive areas, and the Plan instructs the Board & staff to protect farmland. We are limiting the number of wells and wastewater systems that go into the ground by encouraging shared systems.

So how have I done? I would have to say I feel pretty good so far. Perhaps you disagree with my measures in these areas. Perhaps you feel I have missed the boat somewhere else. Maybe I campaigned on the wrong issues altogether! If so, please let me know!

Johnson County has several openings on Boards and Commissions:

*The Compensation Commission needs 5 members. (1 member) – Owner of Farm Property; (2 members) – Licensed Real Estate Brokers or Sales Persons; (2 members) – Other Occupations.

*The Livable Community for Successful Aging Policy Board needs one member representing the University of Iowa.

*The Juvenile Justice Youth Development Program needs one representative from a social services agency, and 2 members representing local businesses.

*The Historic Preservation Commission needs 2 members.

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions regarding any or all of these Boards and Commissions. We would love to have you apply!

The Homeless Children’s Trust 21st annual Holiday Party will be December 5th at the Moose Lodge in Iowa City. Please help support the concept to "make a child happy today" by supporting Stuff Etc. during the month of December. A portion of the daily proceeds will go toward the Homeless Children’s Trust fund, which not only pays for the annual party, but also the Back-to School effort every August.

Volunteers are needed to help at the party doing various tasks such as shopping with parents at K Mart, wrapping packages at K Mart, working in the kitchen at the Moose Lodge, monitoring children at the Moose Lodge, helping to sort and package the donations on Friday December 5th at HACAP. If you would like to assist at this really fun event call Mary at 338-1212 (days) or 337-2264 (evening). Donations are always welcome and can be sent to HACAP at 367 Southgate Ave., Iowa City.

Government is GOOD! How do I know? Because the Family and Medical Leave Act exists to protect your job if you need time off to care for a sick loved one.

Yes, the US still lags behind almost every other First World country in this area. But imagine not having the FMLA! Brought to you by your GOVERNMENT!

DID YOU KNOW? Johnson County loses 3-5 tons of soil per acre of farmland per year. (Source: NRCS.)

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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