Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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May 5, 2011

Sullivan’s Salvos 5/3/11

In this edition:

*Mother’s Day
*League of Women Voters Legislative Forum
*Water Trail Grand Opening
*319 Music Fest
*Democratic Party Hall of Fame
*Project Green Plant Sale
*Did You Know?

*Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday, May 8. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, especially my own mom, Susan Sullivan Smith and my wonderful wife, Melissa Fath. I love you both!

*League of Women Voters Legislative Forum
The final Legislative forum of the session is this Saturday from 1-3 PM at Harvat Hall.

I always appreciate the League for arranging these opportunities for the public to hear from (and question) their legislators. (In the interest of full disclosure, I am a dues-paying member of the League.)

This forum is of particular interest, because Representative Jeff Kauffman (R-Wilton) and Senator Sandy Greiner (R-Keota) are expected to attend.

This is noteworthy only because neither has ever attended a Johnson County League forum, to the best of my knowledge. Kauffman has served since January 2005, meaning he has had about 28 opportunities to attend League forums. Greiner has served in the House and Senate since 1993, meaning she has had roughly 68 opportunities to attend League forums.

So, we will give them a break, be overly generous, and say perhaps they have each been to three League forums over the course of their careers. Don’t the people of Johnson County deserve better than 11% (Kauffman) and 4% (Greiner) attendance?

I know what you are thinking. Perhaps they have other commitments closer to home. Well, Rep. Kauffman attends the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce forums immediately before the League forums, directly across the street!

Representative Kauffman is on record as saying he would not attend League forums because he could not get a fair hearing there. Frankly, I find that insulting to both the League and the people of Johnson County. I have been attending League forums for 20 years, give or take. Every legislator is given the same opportunity to speak and to respond to questions. Kauffman’s claims are not only patently false, but offensive.

Could these decisions to show up in Iowa City have anything to do with the new legislative maps? The redistricting process left Rep. Kauffman with a large chunk of Johnson County, including the city of Solon and Big Grove, Newport, Graham, and Cedar Townships. These precincts have many more residents and lean much more heavily Democratic than the two Johnson County townships (Scott and Lincoln) he currently represents.

Similarly, the new map left Sen. Greiner representing a huge L-shaped piece of Johnson County, including Swisher, Shueyville, North Liberty, Oxford, Tiffin, Lone Tree, and several rural precincts. This area is much more populous and more Democratic than her current District of far southern Johnson County.

Interestingly, Greiner was the only Senator from either party to vote against the map; Kauffman was one of only 7 Representatives to do so. Could there be any coincidence?

Look, I understand what it is like to represent people with whom I disagree. There are lots of Johnson County residents who disagree with me, and they tell me so. That does not prevent me from attending public forums or functions. You are elected to represent EVERYONE in your District, not just the Chamber of Commerce in your District!

Hiding from the people you represent is no way to serve them. I hope the appearances of Rep. Kauffman and Sen. Greiner are not a transparent political move, but an actual commitment to good government.

*Water Trail Grand Opening
Join us on May 7 for a float trip, lunch and dedication ceremony as the Iowa River Water Trail partners dedicate, celebrate and designate Iowa's newest water trail!

Saturday, May 7, 2011 (alternate date in case of unsafe conditions: August 6, 2011)

Schedule of Events
8:00 - 11:30 Early Bird paddle, Sturgis Ferry Park to Hills Access
11:30 -12:30 Dedication Ceremony & Lunch at Hills Access
12:30 - 3:30 Afternoon paddle, Hills Access to River Junction Access
Join the trip for the morning, afternoon or all day.

Beginners and experienced paddlers are all encouraged to participate. The trip will be led by naturalists from Louisa and Johnson County Conservation Boards. And for added safety we've even got a motorized "sag wagon."

If you will have your own boat, shuttle and lunch, you do not have to register. However, all proceeds from the registration fee will go toward the management and improvements for the water trail so your support is appreciated!

Fee: $25/person donation includes lunch, water bottle refill station, shuttle service and canoe/kayak rental (or provide your own).
Registration: see

NOTE: Canoe & kayak rentals are limited so register early! Extras will not be available for walk-ins.

*MYEP Youth Festival
The annual MYEP Youth Festival is Saturday, May 7 from 11-2. Norm Parker, the Defensive Coordinator from the University of Iowa Football team is the Honorary Chairperson.

The Youth Festival is MYEP’s main fundraising event, and will feature food provided by the Iowa River Power Restaurant and performances by local musicians including the Spot Kids’ Choir, the Little Hawk Singers, Jeffrey Morgan and friends, Greg and Susan Dirk, and Kevin Burt.

There are also silent auction items donated by local businesses including a trip for two to Las Vegas donated by Allegiant Airlines with a weekend stay at the Mirage Hotel.

*319 Music Fest
Taking place at Wetherby Park in Iowa City on Saturday, May 7th, from 1 until 7, the “319 Music Festival” is being organized by a team of AmeriCorps VISTAs and other volunteers who wish to focus on bringing people in the community together while regenerating the reputation of SE Iowa City.

319 features local artists Dave Zollo, Idris Goodwin, Kevin ‘BF’ Burt, Agri Cultor, Midwest Quality, Saul Lubaroff & Quartet, and Rae & the Honeybees. And every show is FREE!

There will be games and activities for the children while vendors and food will be provided for the adults.

*Arc Awards
The Arc of SE Iowa is holding its 54th Annual Awards Ceremony May 10
@ 6 pm @ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. Tickets are $15 and available at the door.

*Democratic Party Hall of Fame
The Johnson County Democratic Party is holding a Hall of Fame awards ceremony on Saturday, May 7 at 7 PM at the Marriott in Coralville.

Honorees are Ralph & Arlene Neuzil, Jae Retz & Roberta Till-Retz, and Dick & Doris Myers.

Tickets to this event are $25; for more info, please send me an E-mail!

*Project Green Plant Sale
Project Green is holding its annual plant sale on Saturday, May 7 from 9-11:30 at Carver Hawkeye Arena. All money raised supports the wonderful beautification through horticulture projects of the Project Green members.

*DID YOU KNOW? The top three vote totals in Johnson County history all came in 2008 – Tom Harkin: 52,741; Barack Obama: 51,027; Lonny Pulkrabek: 50,922.

Anyone interested in learning more about County government should take a look at the County website-

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