Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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January 4, 2013

Sullivan’s Salvos 1/8/13 In this edition: *Happy Birthday Mom! *Moms *Justice Center Update *Reception for Sally Stutsman *Bowl For Kids’ Sake *Did You Know? *Happy Birthday Mom! Happy Birthday to my Mom, Susan Sullivan Smith! I love you! *Moms Speaking of moms, this topic has come up a great deal in some of my recent conversations. I am amazed by the amount of competition and lack of solidarity among mothers. Should a woman stay at home with her child? Should she put the child in daycare and go to work? Everybody seems to have an opinion. As a mother, it seems you cannot escape the criticism no matter which route you choose. This issue came up during the Presidential campaign, and it touched a nerve with me. When I was working in the human services field, I frequently worked with young mothers. Because they were poor, staying home with their babies was never an option. I knew of several situations where it would have made more sense for the new mother to stay home with her baby for six months rather than put the child in daycare, then go to work in fast food at $7.25/hour. (Actually, it was $3.35 back then!) It would have been cheaper for the government and better for all involved to just offer her some support to stay home with the baby for a while. The “choice” to stay home is a choice only afforded to people of means. I know poor women who stay home with kids. I know wealthy women who stay home with kids. I know all sorts of mothers who work outside of the home. What do they all have in common? Two things. One, they are doing what they think is best for their kid(s). Two, they are being criticized for it by someone. Our society, workplaces, governments, etc. should be more sensitive to the needs of mothers, but they are not. By criticizing each other, competing with each other, and taking pleasure in each other’s pain, mothers are allowing men to divide and conquer. Being a mother is THE most important job. There are many different ways to do it well. Let’s all work to honor and respect the mothers we know, whatever choices they make. *Justice Center Update As you know, the proposed Justice Center earned over 56% of the vote in November, but that was not enough to meet the required 60% threshold. Board members have received lots of feedback since the vote. As you might imagine, much of it is contradictory. So we have attempted to focus on common themes when and where possible, and we have attempted to address some of the more prevalent concerns we have heard from the public. The Board recently came to agreement on a revised plan for addressing the needs in the courthouse and jail. As you might imagine, several things remain roughly the same. After all, it was designed to meet the needs the first time. Plus a sizeable majority of the voters agreed with the plan. Some of the larger changes: 1. Jail beds are being cut from 243 to 195. 2. Two courtrooms are being eliminated. 3. The exterior will consist of more limestone and less glass. 4. $1.4 million more will come from the county’s general fund. 5. The County will lead some discussions on addressing disproportionate minority contact in the criminal justice system, with more specifics to come. These proposed changes add up to about $3.5 million in projected savings, lowering the total cost of the plan by about 8%. Technically, the Board has not voted on any of this, though there was unanimous agreement in more than one informal meeting. The Board just met with the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee and interested members of the public in order to seek feedback. The plan will likely be tweaked, but approved quite soon. The tentative plan is to put this before the voters on May 7, 2013. That date is the soonest we could come back before the voters, and hits before UI students leave for the summer. In addition, we hope that the educational efforts that have occurred to date will still have residual effects in May. As always, your thoughts are welcome! *Reception for Sally Stutsman There will be a reception on Thursday, January 10th from 3-5 pm in Room 203b at the Johnson County Health and Human Services Building honoring Supervisor Sally Stutsman for her 18 years of service. I have made note of Sally’s many contributions to County government before, but they bear repeating. Sally deserves most of the credit for improving the County government we now have. Before Sally was elected, we had cronyism, sexism, secrecy, no plan for investing, a lack of transparency, and a lack of written policies. Over many objections, Sally led Johnson County to a government of laws rather than a government of personalities. Sally has never gotten the thanks she ought to for her work in those trying times. Sally will do government right for the people of HD77. *Bowl For Kids’ Sake Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Johnson County is holding its 39th annual Bowl For Kids’ Sake event February 23 and 24 at Colonial Lanes. This is by far the biggest fundraiser for BBBS each year, with all the money staying local to help match kids in need with caring adult mentors. The need is great…over 60 children are currently waiting to be matched! The Sullivan for Supervisor Team will be bowling once again this year. If you don’t have a team of your own, you can certainly sponsor us! To donate, just go to: *DID YOU KNOW? Stutsman’s 18 years of service on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors are the most since at least 1946. 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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