Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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April 21, 2012

Sullivan’s Salvos 4/10/12 In this edition: *Lone Tree Council Meeting *Passover *Pancake Day *Tiffin Fire Breakfast *Polling *Primary Election Thoughts, Part One *Did You Know? *Lone Tree Council Meeting – In Comparison The Board of Supervisors recently held a joint meeting with the Lone Tree City Council. The meeting was wide-ranging, and I found it to be very productive. I think both elected bodies gained some perspective out of the evening. More than anything else, I found the Lone Tree government refreshingly open. There was no City Manager serving as the gatekeeper; Council members were free to speak on any issue. And Councilors did speak up – a welcome contrast to meetings where elected councilors sit uncomfortably quiet, awaiting orders from their City Manager. I know that local government in Lone Tree is not perfect. I am well aware of some of the challenges they have faced over the years. Still, given the choice between a committed group of citizens and a stiff local bureaucracy, I will take the committed citizens every time. *Passover A Kosher and happy Passover to all my Jewish friends. I am still brushing up on my Hebrew calendar; please know that I wish you all the best! *Pancake Day The Iowa City Athletic Booster Club is once again presenting Pancake Day, the single largest fundraiser for athletics at West and City High Schools. The event is Saturday, April 14th, in the West High cafeteria, and runs 6:30 am to 6:30 pm. Tickets are available at the door. Please attend and do your part to fund athletics at the Iowa City high schools! *Tiffin Pancake Breakfast In case you don’t get enough cakes on Saturday, Sunday, April 15 is the Tiffin Firefighters Pancake Breakfast. Breakfast is served 6 am -12 pm, and all proceeds go toward funding the volunteer department. *Polling The Des Moines Register has done several polls lately that I find extremely unhelpful. Here is why: Imagine, for a moment, that the weather was based on polling. If I were to poll a significant sample of people and asked, “Would you like it to rain today?” most people would say no. I could repeat the poll week after week, and still get the same result. After a while, we would end up with severe drought. During the drought, the percentage who wanted rain would rise, but only so much. First, most folks do not farm, so they do not see direct effects. Secondly, people would still have picnics and events that they did not want rained out. Finally, each participant would figure, “it can wait one more day.” Obviously, the results of this would be catastrophic. And people would do it to themselves. Why? Because a complex issue was presented as a simple question. The Register has been very guilty lately of oversimplifying complex issues for the purposes of polling. Do you want lower taxes? Do you want better roads? Both questions are easily answered with yes. But guess what? It is very unlikely that you can have both. Do not get me wrong – I find Register polls interesting, entertaining, and thought-provoking. I simply want them to quit taking the easy road, and deal with complex issues in a complex manner. *Primary Election Thoughts, Part One The filing deadline has passed, and the three Supervisors who are up for reelection are unopposed in the June 5th Democratic Primary. That means Pat Harney, Terrence Neuzil, and myself will automatically proceed as the Democratic nominees on the general election ballot in November. I have mixed emotions about this. It is certainly easier not having to run. On the other hand, I find that elections offer us our best opportunity to share our hopes for Johnson County. More importantly, I think it is vitally important to hear what you folks want from your government. This interaction occurs more frequently during a contested election. I hope editorial boards, radio shows, and other media will continue to take an interest in county government. I hope the League of Women Voters, AARP, NAMI, and other groups of constituents will continue to hold us accountable. I went into this campaign – now on hold until the general election – with a few specific issues I hoped to champion. My top four issues if elected to a third term are: 1. Work with cities for sensible TIF usage; 2. Improve rural housing conditions; 3. Increase support for Human Services; 4. Help to make Johnson County a welcoming place for all people. I hope you agree that these are good goals. Please let me know what you think! *Shelter House Gala Shelter House is holding its 10th Annual Spring Gala Saturday, April 14 from 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Iowa City. 5:30 pm — doors open • 6:30 pm — dinner • 7:30 pm — live auction, silent auction. Master of Ceremonies: Michael Lensing. Auction Services: Wears Auctioneering. *DID YOU KNOW? Lone Tree derives its name from a giant elm that grew nearby. As the only tree between the Iowa and Cedar Rivers, it served as a prairie landmark. This elm stood on a slight hill south of town. Local legend has it that the tree was so large, buffalo grazed under its expansive branches. It escaped prairie fires because of the lack of grass around the tree. The tree succumbed to the Dutch Elm disease of the 1960s, although valiant efforts were made to save it. The wood from the tree was used to make a sign denoting the tree's home on the hill southeast of the city limits. (Source: Wikipedia.) 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! ---Rod


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