Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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October 22, 2011

Sullivan’s Salvos 10/25/11

In this edition:

*Happy Halloween!
*Congratulations, Rachel!
*Supervisors NOT Alike!
*New Facilities Manager
*MLK Memorial
*Did You Know?

*Happy Halloween!
Halloween is right around the corner. That does not mean the same things to me it used to, as my kids are much too old to trick or treat.

It does, however, mean we all need to be extra careful as we drive around our neighborhoods. I hope your Halloween is safe and happy!

*Congratulations Rachel!
Congratulations to my daughter Rachel on graduating from Army basic training!

Rachel was stationed at Fort Sill, OK, and will be headed to Virginia for her advanced training. Needless to say, I am very proud!

*Supervisors Not Alike!
I get a few E-mails every week that refer to “you Supervisors” and then take us to task for doing (or not doing) something.

I find these E-mails extremely frustrating, because they only serve to demonstrate that the public does not see the huge differences of opinion that exist on the Board.

I blame much of this on the media. First, we are not covered. Period. Secondly, we are rarely ever asked about the differences of opinion that are clear to anyone watching a meeting. The public deserves to know what debates are taking place in their name, and exactly what their elected representatives think.

I must admit, I have been guilty of generalizing myself recently. Frustrated by the inability of the ICCSD Board to get anything done with redistricting, I wrote an E-mail to the School Board criticizing what I saw as their inaction.

In hindsight, I probably should have written it specifically to about half of the Board members, as there are half who were trying. It was really not fair of me to lump them together, be it for criticism or praise.

Elected bodies are made up of individuals. Yes, you get lots of unanimous votes to approve the agenda or send a letter thanking a volunteer. Those votes are perfunctory.

As my friend and former Iowa City Councilor Larry Baker once said, “95% of all votes could be cast by a trained monkey. You elect people for the 5% that really matter.” Larry nailed it.

Specifically addressing the Board of Supervisors - There are votes cast almost every meeting so lacking in moral courage that they bring shame to the office. There are other instances of elected officials really standing up for what is right.

So, dear citizens – pay attention. You will not get any help from the media – you are going to need to dig. But meetings are now all online. I urge you to tune in. Find out what individual elected officials really feel, and ask why they voted the way they did.

You will find that Boards and Councils are made up of individuals – VERY different individuals!

*New Facilities Manager
Congratulations to Eldon Slaughter, who starts October 31 as the new Johnson County Facilities Manager.

In addition to running his own electrical and contracting businesses, Eldon has managed facilities in Clinton and Saint Louis. Most recently, he served as a facilities manager for numerous Target stores.

If the name sounds familiar, it could be because Eldon previously served as Mayor of Lone Tree.

Eldon will be in charge of all the buildings and grounds for Johnson County.

*MLK Memorial
The new Memorial on the National Mall honoring the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior is now open to the public.

I am very glad to see King being honored in this way. I am a bit troubled, however, by the way King’s legacy has been sanitized.

What do I mean by this? King was a crusader for racial equality, sure. He was also committed to peace and social justice. He wanted an end to wars, and a greater redistribution of wealth. (He came to this philosophy through his Christian religious training.)

King was in Memphis to support striking sanitation workers. He had recently created the Poor People’s Campaign. He freely referred to himself as a Democratic Socialist. It is just as likely that King was killed for his economic views as his racial advocacy.

The Memorial is funded in large part by Wal-Mart, Exxon, Chase, and other corporations. They would never stand for a Memorial that really reflected King’s philosophy of economic justice.

*DID YOU KNOW? Iowa has the 5th highest percentage of residents over 65, at 15%. Florida is first at 17.3%, followed by West Virginia, Maine, and Pennsylvania.

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!



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