Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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February 23, 2013

Sullivan’s Salvos 2/26/13 In this edition: *Supervisor Election *Non-compete Agreement *Supervisor Districts – A Bad Idea! *Did You Know? *Supervisor Election The March 5 Supervisor election is coming up. Early voting opportunities are happening now – see the Auditor’s Office website for a complete listing. I STRONGLY support Democratic candidate Terry Dahms. Terry is a great guy who has a long history with County government. There is no doubt in my mind Terry would serve with distinction. If you want to know more about Terry or my thoughts on this race, just send me an e-mail. Meanwhile, BE SURE TO VOTE! *Non-compete Agreement You may have read about the “non-compete” agreement between Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty. It is designed to ensure that one community does not use public dollars to “poach” a business from a neighboring community. I had personally requested that Johnson County be invited to participate in this agreement. Why, you ask? Johnson County does not do much commercial/industrial development. Exactly! That has been our plan all along! We have been doing the right thing, even without an agreement. I felt it would be nice to have that codified. I am very proud of the fact that during my 8 years on the Board, Johnson County has redirected potential commercial and industrial projects, urging them to instead work with our cities. Not all counties do that – many grab the tax base, regardless of good planning. So, the thanks Johnson County received for those years of cooperation? You guessed it – left out of the agreement. Yet another example of Iowa City’s condescension where Johnson County is concerned. Got a business? Want to move it to a lower tax area? I might be tempted to listen now. *Supervisor Districts- A Bad Idea! The issue of County Supervisor Districts has reared its ugly head in Johnson County. For starters, Districts cost taxpayers more money! Plus, I do not believe geography matters nearly as much as people think. One high-profile example - Supervisor Harney lives in Newport Township, yet disagreed with the vast majority of Newport residents over the road. Personally, I voted to vacate a road that is home to one of my friends, very near where I grew up. That was not fun, but I felt I needed to ignore the geography. Geography is but one thing that binds people together. Despite the immigration of the past two decades, we remain a small community in many ways. Frankly, most elections are won because of who your Mom and Dad are/were. There are old friendships to take into account. Every election has issues of gender, race, religion, occupation, education, political party, and income level, just to name a few. These issues aren't usually well publicized, but it is clear that many farmers vote for farmers, many UI folks vote for UI folks, many Catholics vote for Catholics, and so forth. This does not even take into account the actual issues of the day - public safety, roads, social services, taxes, and the like. Does geography matter? Yes, but not nearly as much as people think. This leads to the issue of Supervisor districts. Linn and Washington Counties recently adopted a district system, where the county is divided into 5 districts and only the people in that district vote for that Supervisor. Sups must live in the district they represent. I have several issues with a district system. First, as I pointed out, geography is often less important than people realize. (See my arguments above.) Secondly, we have a system of one person, one vote. Iowa City, with 68,000 residents, will always have more voters than Oxford, with 900. Law would not allow a district to be gerrymandered in such a way to guarantee a Supervisor from Oxford. If we had districts, each would contain about 27,000 residents. A district that included Oxford, Tiffin, Swisher, Shueyville, and lots of rural residents would still only amount to 7,000 people. Even if you added North Liberty to the mix, the district would be 7,000 people short. So the idea that you are going to get an Oxford-based Supervisor is still slim. The best bet for someone wanting a Sup from Oxford is to find a good candidate in Oxford, work with her on issues, and urge her to run. Good candidates CAN win regardless of where they live; it is difficult to win BECAUSE of where you live. Thirdly, districts actually eliminate good candidates. It is entirely possible that the two best candidates live next door to each other. Why eliminate one from holding office? If it was a job interview in the private sector and you were determined to hire the two best people, you wouldn’t even look at where they lived. Fourthly, districts add inefficiency to government by creating a patronage system. If Swisher gets a road repair one year, Lone Tree will get one the next, whether it is needed or not. Because rather than looking out for the best interests of the entire county, you have created a system that rewards “bringing home the bacon.” This WILL increase the cost of government! It also adds expenses to elections. Supervisor Districts create additional ballot types, driving up the cost of elections while adding to voter confusion. That does not even take into account the fact that you need to hold an $80,000 special election just to vote on the change! Fifthly, districts eliminate some of the representative nature of government. All 5 Sups vote on ordinances, the budget, and everything else. If a Sup is going to spend my tax dollars, I want to have a say by being able to vote for or against her. And the Rural Fund makes up only $4 million of the $84 million dollar county budget. In Polk and Linn Counties, there are multiple Supervisors who do not have a single county road or rural resident in their Districts. This would likely occur in Johnson County, too, if a District system was in place. This creates an incentive for the urban representative to push all the expenses of County government to the rural side of the budget. Rural people – you think you want this? Think again! You might well end up with 3 out of 5 Supervisors who represent NO rural residents. Why would those three continue to tax their residents (all city dwellers) for things such as rural patrol deputies? I think districts will lead to additional expenses for rural people. Finally, I dislike identity politics. I frequently hear, “We need a couple farmers on the Board.” I understand the reasoning, but I disagree. Look at all the flaws in this argument: 1. Not all farmers think alike, and not all farmers will vote alike. And who defines which people are “really” farmers? 2. Johnson County has about 4,000 on-farm residents. (That amounts to 3% of overall county residents, and a little less than one in 5 rural residents.) Johnson County has many more teachers than farmers; why don’t we need a teacher on the Board? 3. In continuing the identity politics, Johnson County is home to 5,000 Latinos; 6,000 African Americans; 13,000 people with disabilities; 6,000 gays and lesbians; 19,000 seniors; 25,000 people with Master’s Degrees or higher. Must we ensure that each of these groups is represented? If so, how do we accomplish this on a 5 person Board? 4. What does it mean “to be represented?” While not African American, I am sensitive to issues of race through having three African American children. While not a farmer, I grew up on a farm, and we still have several in the family. While I do not have a disability, I used to work at The Arc. Each Supervisor could go on similarly as to why she/he represents everyone well. Several local business leaders have been advocating for governments to think bigger and more regionally. This proposal goes the opposite direction. I hope Chuck Peters, Clay Jones, and others who have been advocating for less government will publically oppose this silly plan! I hope that Johnson County never heads down the ill-conceived path of Supervisor districts. It only serves to drive up the cost of government, without improving services. *DID YOU KNOW? 41% of all rural addresses in Johnson County are Iowa City addresses. 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

February 16, 2013

Sullivan’s Salvos 2/19/13 In this edition: *Ripples From Last Week *Who Pays? *CIA *Sutliff Bridge Authority Fundraiser *Did You Know? *Ripples From Last Week I got a fair amount of feedback on last week’s edition of Salvos. Lots of cheers, some jeers. Let’s discuss it some more. I had an employee of the City of Iowa City drop a subscription over what I wrote. That is not unusual. On two different occasions I have had Coralville Councilors drop subscriptions after I wrote about TIF. I had a couple Farm Bureau members drop after I wrote about an issue upon which we disagreed. I’m sure there are other cases. It is unfortunate, but it happens. I try to read opinions different than my own. Sometimes it is maddening, but sometimes it is healthy. Most importantly, when facts are at issue, it needs to get figured out. What are the facts? What is the reality? The public deserves policy based on facts. I believe the facts in this case are indisputable. While there are likely some County services for which it could be argued that Iowa City residents pay too much, there are also many where they pay too little. Here is another recent example. Two Iowa Citians were recently convicted of a murder that occurred in Iowa City. One man spent 26 months in the custody of Johnson County, at a cost of approximately $34,000. The other spent 40 months, running about $51,000. Each trial cost at least $25,000. That is at least $135,000. Neither of the perpetrators nor the victim spent any time in Coralville, let alone Hills. Yet people in those cities (and unincorporated areas) get to pay equally for the expenses of bringing these men to justice. Some people complain to me about this. They say, “Why should we pay for Iowa City’s criminals?” My response? We have a social compact. We are all in this together. We all pay for these things. In this case, Iowa City benefits by having taxpayers in other areas share the expenses. In other cases, Iowa City may lose a bit. My guess is that it evens out. If Tom Markus wants to upset this social compact, there will undoubtedly be consequences. It is a pretty darned big deal, and it should be treated as such. The public needs to know the facts. The public needs to pay attention. For some folks, the facts I offered did not matter. They were upset about my tone. I understand that. The letter was snarky, and frankly, I was pissed off. Should I have turned the other cheek and been more polite? Yes. It should be noted, however, that being polite has not served Johnson County particularly well. Cities have a tendency to trample upon County government. Many of these issues have persisted for years. Will getting angry work better? I can’t answer that. I can tell you it will not work worse! Iowa is a great place, but perhaps our biggest flaw as Iowans is our preference for avoiding conflict. I do not want elected officials who avoid conflict. I want elected officials who will speak truth to power. If they can do that and remain polite, more power to them. But I don’t want to trade polite for committed. Finally, one reader made the case for a consolidated government. I would be open to doing this, so long as there was a heavy emphasis on elected (rather than appointed) management. I see this as a real long shot, however. People have already carved out their parochial little areas. They do not want to cede any control. So, here we are. The facts are still the facts. I continue to believe we are all in this together. I hope you do, too. We’ll see what happens. *Who Pays? From my friends at the Iowa Policy Project (IPP): A new national report shows Iowa taxes — like those in most states — are much greater as a share of income from middle- and low-income families than from wealthy families. The report, Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States, by the Washington-based Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), shows the effect of sales taxes and property taxes on lower-income households tilts Iowa’s overall tax system so the poorest pay the highest percentage in taxes. I keep saying it – people want to keep denying it! Don’t take it from me – take it from the experts! To read more about this and other topics of interest to working Iowans, visit *CIA Ever think much about the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)? It seems to me that the CIA does its business without much public scrutiny, and that needs to change! If I were “King for a Day”, I would eliminate the CIA. Perhaps someone there could make the case that it needed to exist – hard to know, since those reasons are kept secret! Even if I could be convinced the CIA needed to exist, I know I would cut it back dramatically. Why? Several reasons: First, the CIA has moved toward becoming a paramilitary organization. They are now involved in activities that were previously only the purview of the US Military. They now have equipment (including heavy arms) that should only be under military control. Secondly, the CIA budget is HUGE, yet Americans have virtually no say over the money that is spent. The most recent amount is $80 BILLION dollars – and we do not get to know anything about what that $80 BILLION buys! Thirdly, the CIA is almost always wrong! Look at all the recent cases where our intelligence was completely wrong. From the Bay of Pigs to the Iranian Revolution, to the collapse of the USSR, to 9/11, to the Iraq War – they have been wrong almost every time it mattered. It would be much cheaper and just as effective to simply flip a coin. Finally, the American people deserve (and can handle) the truth. I do not buy the argument that we need to be protected through keeping secrets. It is time to open up! The CIA makes for a fun subject for moviemaking, but it is a pretty lousy way for the US to do business. I say let’s get rid of it! *Sutliff Bridge Authority Fundraiser The annual Sutliff Bridge Dance winter fundraiser will once again be held at the Solon American Legion on Saturday, February 23. Your $5 donation at the door goes towards future preservation of the Sutliff Bridge via the Endowment Fund with the Community Foundation of Johnson County. Music begins at 8 pm by DJ Joe Long. Doors open whenever you want to get there. The following items will be available: door prizes, 50/50 raffle, silent auction items, tshirts, hats, koozies, and sweatshirts. This is also a great opportunity to come out and help support the local American Legion Hall. The SBA has been having their winter event at the Legion since 1984. They always do a great job getting things set up for this big evening. Thank you to the Solon Legion staff for their help every year! *DID YOU KNOW? The CIA was created in 1947 by President Truman. 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

February 8, 2013

Sullivan’s Salvos 2/12/13 In this edition: *An Open Letter to Tom Markus *Bowl For Kids’ Sake! *Did You Know? *An Open Letter to Tom Markus Dear Tom: You blew it. There was a great opportunity for Iowa City and Johnson County to work together. But you blew it. You decided to screw the County when it came to the Animal Shelter. Then you are disingenuous when it comes to SEATS negotiations. I do not trust you. I do not like the way you do business. It was not always this way. Yes, Iowa City has always assumed itself to be superior to Johnson County. That mild arrogance is just Iowa City for you. It is almost heartwarming. But Iowa City was never malicious. As a matter of fact, Iowa City used to be quite friendly and helpful where Johnson County was concerned. Things took a turn for the worse during the whole JECC debacle, but we were recovering from that. Then you blew it. OK – let me get the obvious out of the way. I am speaking for myself, and not the whole Board of Supervisors. (I have a disclaimer that says as much at the end of every edition of Salvos. Today is no different.) Let me also say – if individual Board members disagree with me, you should ask them to explain their own theories. You deserve to know how the people that represent you think. So Tom. Let’s talk a bit about YOUR “theories” as they apply to local government. First of all, Iowa City recently put out a press release on the SEATS program. In the first sentence of the 5th paragraph, it stated: "Johnson County has firmly indicated that they intend to phase out funding of para-transit services." That sentence is patently false. Johnson County is committed to continuing to provide SEATS services in EVERY case where SEATS is a County responsibility. The only "phasing out" is the decision Johnson County made to "phase out" a $500,000+ annual subsidy to Iowa City. I would like the public record to reflect the reality rather than this gross misrepresentation. Johnson County's commitment to pay for para-transit services has been demonstrated for 40+ years. Just follow the money. Now it is the time for Iowa City to step up and meet its federally mandated responsibilities. Iowa City goes on to state: “Central to these discussions is the issue of having each community fund their equitable portion for the services provided to their residents. Iowa City firmly believes that our residents should pay an equitable share of costs for these critically important para-transit services. However, we also understand that our residents pay taxes to both Iowa City and Johnson County and further believe that equitable funding shares should include the source of tax dollars regardless of the governmental entity that collects them.” That would be great. But it is not true. Tom Markus does not REALLY want equitable funding. He wants to gouge the County. Want to pay equitably, Tom? We can get together a bill for Ambulance services – about 80% of the calls occur in Iowa City. Your Public Health bill will be huge – you can cover the costs of inspecting all the restaurants, tattoo parlors, swimming pools, saunas, etc. You’ll also owe quite a bit for WIC and Child and Maternal Health – most of those clients come from Iowa City. Don’t even get me STARTED on alcohol issues! Federal elections cost millions of dollars; about half the voters in Johnson County live in Iowa City. 2014 will be big, but you’d better start budgeting for 2016 right now! A high percentage of the people who use Johnson County Conservation areas/trails are from Iowa City. We will need to charge you accordingly. Almost all of our Medical Examiner calls occur within Iowa City limits. That will cost you well over a million bucks. The County has an annual Mental Health budget of over $15 million. Most of the clients live in Iowa City. Your check for $12 million can’t arrive soon enough! Iowa City residents can pay a surcharge every time they use the Recorder’s Office. Most our births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and property transactions are in Iowa City. Same goes for the Treasurer’s Office - whenever they pay taxes or renew plates; these offices cost money to run, you know! Oh, and the Treasurer collects and distributes all of Iowa City’s annual property taxes – over $70 million. We are going to need to begin charging a small fee for this service; perhaps 1%. Surely you don’t object! Iowa City cops can start paying to drop prisoners off at the jail. Better yet, build your own Goddamned jail! Iowa City puts most the people there anyway! And you’ll be getting a bill for Iowa City residents who access the Courts. The County Attorney will need to charge about $400/hour to prosecute all Iowa City cases. That will be a lot, but don’t worry – it should be under $10 million! Johnson County is spending about $4 million on human services. Ummm…. I hate to break it to you, but –yeah. Mostly Iowa City. Plus we pay to house DHS and Juvenile Court. The people using those offices are largely from Swisher. (Whoops! I mean largely from Iowa City! Just seeing if you are still paying attention!) Veteran’s Affairs? Almost all Iowa City. But that is a relatively small budget. And last but certainly NOT least – we’d love the millions in TIF money you have stolen over the years! Still want “equitable funding”, Tom? Yeah, that is what I thought! It makes for a great sound bite, but in reality, your “principled stand” is all bullshit! (I know some readers are going to be upset at the fact that I wrote the word “bullshit”. I understand why you might not like this. But you know what? Sometimes, you just have to call things the way you see them. And Tom Markus’ way of doing business is bullshit.) I live in Iowa City. My home is assessed at $162,000. I pay about $1400 (44%) of my taxes to Iowa City. I pay about $550 (17%) of my taxes to Johnson County. (About 37% goes to the ICCSD.) Now that I think about it, Tom – why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and charge Iowa City residents based only upon the services they use? If your theory works on the city level, why not the individual level? I have never had a fire, and don’t wish to pay for the Fire Department (and their fancy fireplaces). So chop that off my taxes. The public art you have chosen is not to my liking – I’ll take a refund on that, too. Senior Center? I’m not even 50 yet. Streets? Frankly, the plowing is piss poor. I’m not paying full freight there. Cut my share in half. Building inspectors? Used one once, and paid a fee to do so. Count me out. Parks? I use a lot of them. But none on the west side. Put my bill for them at 75%. My kids are basically grown, so no more paying for soccer fields or swimming pools for me. Let the users pay, right Tom? Oh, and salaries! Your $160,000 salary? WAY too friggin’ high! I believe in paying a livable wage, so put me down for my share of the $50,000 I think you are worth. OK – I will freely admit that I have been cheeky in presenting these examples. But the fact remains, my examples are EVERY BIT as legitimate as your arguments re: SEATS. Iowa City residents may be paying a tiny bit too much in one area – they are paying a tiny bit too little in others. If folks are too upset by this, they have recourse! We have a great system in County government – we vote. If the majority of the people want me gone, I’m gone. You, meanwhile… there is NOTHING I can do to get rid of you. I’d have to recruit 4 candidates who all agreed to fire you. All 4 would need to win; plus that takes two election cycles. You are pretty untouchable – I’ll give you that! Markus, you should probably focus on the 44% of my taxes that is your job! If you want to be a County Supervisor, you should run for the job! Meanwhile, the city I have called home for 30 years is getting worse, not better. Tom, my friend – you have work to do. Why don’t you quit whining about Johnson County and do it? By the way, I am happy to discuss any and all of this in any public forum. I prefer a public forum, where minutes are kept or recordings are made. See, I have nothing to hide. This is public business – have the cojones to discuss it in public! I have known/visited Iowa City my whole life. I have lived in Iowa City for 30 years. I am an Iowa Citian. I am not going anywhere. You, on the other hand, are a hired gun. You are going to be here 2-3 more years, then take the retirement you want to deny your cops and firefighters and retire to someplace you consider home. And I’ll be here to clean up your mess. Well, Tom – Iowa City IS my home! I care about this city, and I care about this county. You decided to put my town ‘s future in the balance. You now have a fight on your hands. May the best man win. Disappointed, Rod Sullivan *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? The FY14 Draft County budget is available on the County website. In it, Johnson County plans to subsidize Iowa City $100,000 for its federally-mandated para-transit services. 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

February 2, 2013

Sullivan’s Salvos 2/5/13 In this edition: *Democratic Candidate for Supervisor *SEATS *Mayors Rock! *Arc Chili Supper *Did You Know? *Democratic Candidate for Supervisor Johnson County Democrats held their nominating Convention on January 31 at Northwest Junior High in Coralville, and chose Terry Dahms of Newport Township to be the Democratic candidate for County Supervisor. Terry is retired from the UI, and has extensive background in county government. He has served as Chair of our Planning and Zoning Commission and Chair of our Trails Advisory Committee. He has also spent two years as Chair of the Johnson County Democratic Party. I have known Terry since the early 2000s, and I have found him to be a GREAT guy! He is smart, thoughtful, and trustworthy. I think he’ll make an excellent Supervisor, and I hope you’ll give him your support. The GOP meets on February 6 to nominate a candidate. The election is Tuesday, March 5. In addition, there will likely be some early voting opportunities. *SEATS The Johnson County SEATS program has been in the news lately. I believe it is important that the public have some more information. SEATS is a department of County government that provides paratransit services throughout the county. Rides are provided to elderly folks and people with disabilities who would otherwise be unable to take the fixed route bus systems. SEATS has been in operation since the mid ‘70s. Federal law requires municipalities with fixed route bus systems to also provide paratransit services. Iowa City and Coralville accomplish this by contracting with SEATS. (The rest of the County is not under the same federal mandates.) The existing 5-year contracts expire June 30. This is good timing for the County, because we are subsidizing the cities a tremendous amount. Last year, Johnson County subsidized Iowa City over $500,000 and Coralville over $100,000. Obviously, Johnson County would prefer a contract that sees the cities pay 100% of their responsibilities. How did we get there? Growth. SEATS now provides over 112,000 trips annually, about two-thirds of which are the federally mandated responsibilities of Iowa City and Coralville. The County asked our SEATS Director to begin negotiations back in September, but the first thing he heard from either city was just a month ago. This creates a problem for negotiations. Budgets must be finalized by mid-February in order to meet publishing requirements. We need to put some numbers in the budget now. So little time remains. Iowa City and Coralville offered two year contracts that would have had Johnson County subsidizing Iowa City over $300,000 each year and subsidizing Coralville $95,000 each year. Johnson County countered with a pair of three-year contracts. We would subsidize Iowa City $100,000 in year 1, $50,000 in year 2, and zero in year 3. We would subsidize Coralville $30,000 in year 1, $15,000 in year 2, and zero in year 3. This strikes me as more than fair. The county is under no obligation to subsidize the service. We felt that a three-year phasing down to zero was extremely generous, and gave the cities ample time to adjust. It is a stark contrast from the take-it-or-leave-it approach Iowa City used with Johnson County when discussing the animal shelter. In addition, both cities continue to TIF. Every time TIF is used, the county gets shut out on all growth. In FY13, Iowa City TIFs cost Johnson County about $100,000. Coralville TIFs cost Johnson County over $3.2 million last year alone! They keep diverting tax revenue from Johnson County – over $30 million in the past decade! Yet Johnson County is willing to ease them into a new SEATS contract. So – what happens next? The cities really have three ways they can go. They can sign a contract with SEATS, provide the service themselves, or find another vendor. I am convinced that any objective review of these options will demonstrate that SEATS is a fantastic value! Compare our cost per mile, per trip, per rider, etc. with paratransit systems all over the US, and you will see that SEATS is among the most efficient services anywhere. In addition, the rates of accidents and complaints are both very low, comparing favorably with any system in the country. Most importantly, SEATS staff (represented by AFSCME) are extremely experienced and well-trained. They know the riders personally. They care deeply about the riders. It is very difficult to put a price on a deep level of commitment. The people of Iowa City and Coralville get a very good deal when they contract with SEATS. I hope their leaders recognize this fact, and enter into a contract. *Mayors Rock! I was thinking recently about the small town Mayors in Johnson County. They are a remarkable group of people! With all due respect to the Mayors of our larger cities – all fine people – small town Mayors have VERY difficult jobs! They lack the staff support of their colleagues in larger cities, yet expectations can be just as high. They serve on innumerable committees, and would amaze you with their vast knowledge! I am not certain why these folks are not held in higher regard. Too many people think “Mayor” and conjure up an image such as the bumbling Mayor Quimby on the Simpsons. I am here to tell you, that is just not the case! The stories are too numerous to mention. Loose dog? Call the Mayor. Incorrect water bill? Call the Mayor. Noisy neighbors? Call the Mayor. Does not fit neatly into any other category? Call the Mayor! These folks do phenomenal work for very low pay. The headaches are many, and the appreciation rare. I believe the current group is as good as any we’ve ever had. So, a special shout out to: Tim Mason, Swisher; Bryan Bredmann, Shueyville; Louise From, University Heights; Don Saxton, Oxford; Steve Berner, Tiffin; Cami Rassmussen, Solon; Tim Kemp, Hills; Tom Salm, North Liberty; and Rick Ogren, Lone Tree. Saxton is the dean of small town Mayors, having served a remarkable 38 years! Thank you to every member of this outstanding group! *Arc Chili Supper The Arc is holding its annual Chili Supper Friday, February 8 from 4:30-8 pm at the River Community Church in Iowa City. All money raised will support the Arc in its mission to help individuals with disabilities have options for where and how they live, learn, work, and play. For more information contact 351-5017. *DID YOU KNOW? Paratransit arose from Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This prohibited excluding people with disabilities from federally-funded services. 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