Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

Previous Posts


April 9, 2011

Sullivan’s Salvos 4/12/11

In this edition:

*Taxpayers Deserve Better!
*Tax Day
*Your Favorite Books
*Hospice Walk for Dignity
*Did You Know?

*Taxpayers Deserve Better!
The recent battle between Governor Branstad and CR Mayor Ron Corbett strikes home with me. Consider me strongly in Mayor Corbett’s camp!

I happen to believe that current state bidding laws unduly tie the hands of local governments. Our current laws give us a worse product, at a higher cost, built by outsiders! Taxpayers deserve better!

Unfortunately, we have our own local example. Tricon, Inc. from Dubuque was the low bidder on our Health and Human Services Building. While our new building is definitely an improvement over the spaces we were previously renting, there are several things that have not gone well.

Tricon has basically walked away from Johnson County, even though several things remain undone. (Johnson County is still holding a sizable final payment as a type of retainer.) Some subcontractors were shady; others are owed money. Tricon is still required to pave a parking lot that remains undone. All of the doors in the building needed to be redone; several are still problematic. The drywall was not done well, and had to be redone. Now, cracks are beginning to show in some areas. The HVAC system has not worked as advertised.

Obviously, none of these problems is life or death. All in all, we have an acceptable building. But it is NOT what we asked for, NOT what we were promised, and NOT what we paid for. Doesn’t it seem as though we ought to have some recourse?

I believe state law needs to offer more local control. Local governments should be able to give preference to local workers. Local governments deserve a better legal means for getting damages from a contractor who simply does not fulfill a contract. Local governments should be free to pay a bit extra for better quality work.

Local taxpayers deserve better. Please ask your State Legislators to allow greater local control in building projects.

*Tax Day
April 15th marks “Tax Day” in the US. There will undoubtedly be tax protests that day. I hope you will join me in acknowledging all the good things that happen because we pay taxes.

Look – each of us has several things in the federal budget we would cut. Each of us has several things in the federal budget we would increase. We need to continue having those discussions.

Personally, I am not going to allow those differences of opinion to sour my feelings toward the US. We live in a GREAT country! That greatness is in part due to the important things that have been accomplished by our government. Tax Day is not a day to protest – it is a day to celebrate!

*Your Favorite Books
Last week in Salvos, I asked about your favorite books. Well, the responses are in, and I am amazed! Dozens of Salvos readers took the time to share their favorites. The response was too great to mention every book, but here are a few highlights:

Della McGrath wrote a great deal about her Pilot Club Book Club, which has been reading a book per month for several years. Della has the complete list! She recommended about a dozen books, and offered fairly detailed critiques! Della, you are an overachiever!

Sheriff Pulkrabek’s favorite book is a mystery by retired Iowa Deputy Sheriff Donald Harstad titled "Eleven Days". It even mentions coming to Iowa City and Johnson County during an investigation.

Sticking with the local theme, noted Iowa City author Larry Baker joked that he could not decide which of his books was his all time favorite. On a more serious note, Larry recommends Andrew Sean Greer's “Path of Minor Planets”.

It was not long until Larry’s name came up again. Another Salvos reader listed Baker’s “The Flamingo Rising” as her favorite book ever. Interestingly, Larry has been working on a fascinating documentary film that traces the writing of his recent novel, “A Good Man”. Check out this link:

Dr. Maureen McCue has varied tastes: “Life of Pi” and “Middlesex’. I loved her selections of children's lit – “Charlotte's Web” for little ones, and for preteens the Madeleine L’Engle works.

Non-fiction got a few mentions, too – my pal Jenny Britton recommends “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” by Anne Fadiman.

There were too many other books to possibly mention here. Sincere thanks to everyone who took the time to respond. Very worthy of a City of Literature!

*Hospice Walk For Dignity
The Hospice Walk for Dignity is Sunday, April 17 at 1:00 pm at Willow Creek Park in Iowa City.

Join the family of John and Erma Alberhasky, this year’s Honorary Family, to celebrate the lives and honor the memories of loved ones, and show support for Iowa City Hospice.

Our goal: The MOST SUCCESSFUL WALK YET! Let's break all records--1,300 walkers and $130,000 raised!

Visit or contact Judy Frits, at 688-4213
or for more information.

*DID YOU KNOW? The impressive 17% growth posted by Johnson County between 2000-2010 is actually a very similar percentage to the growth between 1990-2000, 1980-1990, and 1970-1980.

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.

If you do NOT want the weekly E-mail, simply reply to this message, and type "unsubscribe" in the subject line.

If you know anyone else who might be interested, just forward this message. They can E-mail me at with "subscribe" in the subject line.

As always, feel free to contact me at 354-7199 or I look forward to serving you!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's an interview we just did with Betty Kelly and Eve Casserly from the Johnson County Livable Community for Successful Aging Initiative, and Maggie Elliot and Mel McMorris from Iowa City Hospice, hosts of the Walk for Dignity, the community event that gives friends and families an opportunity to celebrate the lives and honor the memories of their loved ones, and show support for Iowa City Hospice.

April 14, 2011 at 5:30 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home