Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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May 19, 2012

Sullivan’s Salvos 5/22/12 In this edition: *Memorial Day *Primary Elections *Sue Freeman Trial *Issues of Race *North Liberty Blues & BBQ *Solon Fire Pancake Breakfast *Conservation Board Opening *No Salvos Next Week! *Did You Know? *Memorial Day Happy Memorial Day! Let’s hope that this is the Memorial Day when we can actually begin to achieve peace around the world. Meanwhile, thanks to all the men and women who serve in our armed forces! *Primary Elections I have written at some length about the upcoming Primary Elections. One thing I have not done is formally request your vote. So, dear readers – if you will do me the honor, I would be proud to serve another term as Johnson County Supervisor. I would sincerely appreciate your vote on June 5 or before. If reelected, my goals are: 1. Work with cities for sensible TIF usage; 2. Improve rural housing conditions; 3. Increase support for Human Services; 4. Improve Affirmative Action results. I am grateful for your past support, and thank you for your future consideration. I promise to never take this position for granted! *Sue Freeman Trial In a high-profile local case, Broadway Neighborhood Center Director Sue Freeman was found innocent of all charges. I was honored to serve as a character witness on Sue’s behalf. I have admired Sue Freeman for 15 years. Few people in Johnson County fight harder for those with less. I know firsthand her good daycare work – my own son attended the center she runs. Obviously, I was thrilled to see her acquitted. But the damage is done. NCJC lost contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. One of the most important nonprofits in our county is now struggling. Johnson County NEEDS a strong NCJC. This whole situation was wrong. It was about racism, plain and simple. Sue called out racist behavior where she saw it. Then the powers that be decided Sue needed to pay a price. As a community, we need to have the guts to stand up to this type of bullying. I say to whatever elected officials will listen – NOT IN MY NAME! Meanwhile, it would be nice to see some apologies. DHS and Empowerment? Apologize for piling on. Acknowledge that NCJC did nothing wrong. Head Start? Renew your contract! Acknowledge that NCJC did nothing wrong. County Attorney’s Office? Acknowledge that NCJC did nothing wrong. ICPD? Apologize, then acknowledge that NCJC did nothing wrong. IC Council? Apologize for your police, then acknowledge that NCJC did nothing wrong. These actions will not repair the damage that has been done. But the above steps are the least these entities should do. Please ask these entities to take some responsibility, and own their actions (or inactions) that have damaged NCJC. Then, repeat after me – NOT IN MY NAME! *Issues of Race The Freeman trial once again points to the issues we have with race in this community. I have been working with a group called The Coalition for Racial Justice, an offshoot of the Consultation of Religious Communities. The group is committed to addressing issues of race in our community. I recognize that not everyone is religious, but personally, I love the religious approach to this topic. Each Sunday when I walk into church, we start with confession. All of us admit we are sinners. Once that has been acknowledged, we can work on improving things. The problem with discussions of race is that walls go up automatically. Anyone who is presented with problems related to race reflexively responds with, “I am NOT a racist!” Then the discussion goes nowhere. I prefer the church model. We come in and admit we are ALL sinners. We are ALL racists. Once that has been acknowledged, we can work on improving things. The Iowa City Council was recently presented with a watered-down, impotent excuse for a resolution on race. And they could not support it without weakening it further. My advice to the Council? We are ALL sinners. Acknowledge that, and it opens up the possibility of some interesting conversations. The Council needs some churchin’ on this issue. We all do. *North Liberty Blues & BBQ The 2012 North Liberty Blues and BBQ festival is Saturday, May 26 with a rain date of May 27. Party time is 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. This festival has great food, great music, arts, kiddie games, fireworks, and much more! There is way too much happening for me to list it all here. Instead, visit for all the information. *Solon Fire Pancake Breakfast The Solon Firefighters' Annual Breakfast will be held Sunday, May 27, serving from 6:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Solon Fire Station. All-you-can-eat cakes, eggs, etc. is just $6 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under. *Conservation Board Opening Johnson County has an opening on the Conservation Board. This is a great opportunity for anyone who cares about the environment! You can apply online at *No Salvos Next Week! Since my daughter Jordan graduates this weekend, Salvos will be taking the weekend off. Look for your next edition (dated 6-5-12) around Saturday, June 2nd, give or take a day. *DID YOU KNOW? Memorial day was first celebrated on May 30, 1868. It was observed by placing flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers during the first national celebration. Gen. James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which around 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who were buried there. 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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