Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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January 12, 2013

Sullivan’s Salvos 1/15/13 In this edition: *MLK *Free Tax Help! *Process For Supervisor Vacancy *Did You Know? *MLK The federal holiday honoring the birthday of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior is Monday, January 21, 2013. The University of Iowa is once again sponsoring several events in honor of MLK. Also known as Human Rights Week, the list of events (below) is impressive: *Interfaith Worship Service, Honoring the Legacy of MLK: Sunday, 1/20, 7:00 pm at First Mennonite Church in Iowa City. *Unity March: Monday, 1/21, 3:30 - 4:00 pm at Old Capitol Museum. *"Time to Remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." Monday, 1/21 at Old Capitol Museum. Reception to follow in Museum Lobby. *Rights-A-Palooza: Wednesday, 1/23, 11:30 - 1:30 pm at IMU Main Lounge. Be a part of this "do-fair" - do (learn) a cultural dance, do (play) games, do (make) a craft. Grab an ice-cream sundae, listen to the jazz trio and do! *2013 UI Health Care MLK Lecture: Isabel Wilkerson: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and the author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration. Wednesday, 1/23 from 12:00 - 1:00 pm; Reception & Book Signing to follow 1:00 - 1:30 at Sahai Auditorium, Medical Education and Research Facility (MERF). *"Community of Color": Thursday, 1/24, 4:00 - 6:00 pm at Van Oel Multipurpose Room, Currier Hall. Contact: Center for Diversity and Enrichment 335-3555,; RSVP by January 21. *"The Mountaintop," a play by Katori Hall presented by Theatre Arts/Darwin Turner Action Theatre and directed by Professor Tlaloc Rivas of the Department of Theatre Arts. This award winning play is about an imagined conversation between King and a hotel maid on his last night alive in the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, just after he gave his famed "Mountaintop" speech and before he got shot the next morning. Saturday, 1/26 7:00 pm at EC Mabie Theater. As I noted, this list is impressive – and I didn’t include everything! It makes me proud to see my alma mater recognize the man and recognize the need for the holiday. Unfortunately, the UI is virtually alone in our community when it comes to recognizing this day. My family and I attend the Interfaith Service every year. It SHOULD be packed. It is not. What’s more, you rarely ever see elected/appointed officials at the event. I wonder what kind of impact it would have to see the Superintendent of Schools or Chief of Police at the event? We have a lot of work to do around issues of race in Johnson County. Let’s make MLK Day 2013 the start of a year of action! *Free Tax Help! One of my proudest accomplishments as a Supervisor has been instituting the Free Tax Help clinics in Johnson County. These have been tremendously successful, bringing over $1 million annually into the local economy. This service is available for free to taxpayers earning less than $50,000 a year. The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program trains University of Iowa students and AARP volunteers to provide FREE Income Tax Preparation Services to qualifying workers. Additionally, the University of Iowa student volunteers have completed a semester long tax preparation course. There are five (5) locations throughout Johnson County that provide FREE Tax Preparation Services – Garner Elementary in North Liberty, Northwest Junior High in Coralville, Southeast Junior High in Iowa City, the Iowa City Public Library, and the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center. Schedules are available on the website. Spanish translators are available at the 4 University of Iowa VITA locations. Johnson County is pleased to partner with the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, Johnson County AARP, Iowa City Public Library, Iowa City Community School District, Iowa City Housing Authority, and United Way of Johnson County. Financial support is provided by ISED Ventures, University of Iowa Community Credit Union, United Way of Johnson County, and Veridian Credit Union. For much more information, please visit the County web page: *Process For Supervisor Vacancy As you know, Sally Stutsman was elected to the Iowa Legislature, meaning she had to step down as a County Supervisor. Many folks have inquired what happens next. I’ll explain! The resignation of a Supervisor triggers the meeting of a committee consisting of the Treasurer, Recorder, and Auditor. Sally submitted her resignation effective January 2nd, and the committee met on the 8th. The committee had two options: appoint someone to fill the remainder of the term, or call for an election. The committee unanimously chose to go to election. You may recall that there was an appointment AND an election last time there was an opening on the Board. In that case, the opening was created by the death of Supervisor Larry Meyers. Current Supervisor Janelle Rettig was already running for a spot, as the election was much closer then than now. The committee appointed Rettig, but a petition drive resulted in enough signatures to force a special election. Rettig defeated Republican nominee Lori Cardella in that special election, then ran unopposed with Stutsman in the general election. I think it is safe to say that the experience they had in 2010 influenced the committee. They were all reluctant to spend the money – a special election is about $65,000. But there were good reasons for going to a vote. First, this is a full two years. The public expects to weigh in when someone represents them for that long. Secondly, if folks were going to force an election for a 10-month opening, they were likely to force one for a two-year long opening. So the committee opted to go straight to a special election. (On a side note – during the Democratic primary race, a number of his opponents claimed that Auditor Travis Weipert was somehow involved in a convoluted conspiracy to appoint the next Supervisor. Clearly that was untrue, as Weipert voted for an election. Let’s see if any apologies are forthcoming.) The election will be held Tuesday, March 5. (There will be time for some limited early voting opportunities.) This means that the Republican and Democratic Parties will hold conventions in late January/early February to choose their candidates. Other individuals can be nominated by petition, and appear on the ballot without a “D” or “R” behind their names. I have heard of a handful of Democrats interested in the position; those folks will make their case at the Democratic Party Convention. I have yet to hear about any interested Republicans. If you are into local politics, the fun has only just begun! *DID YOU KNOW? MLK was only 39 years old when he was assassinated in 1969. 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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