Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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March 23, 2013

Sullivan’s Salvos 3/26/13 In this edition: *RIP Ann Bovjberg *Happy Easter! *Environmentalists Missed One! *DVIP Souper Bowl *American Winter *Born Too Late? *Did You Know? *RIP Ann Bovjberg I was very saddened to learn of the passing of Ann Bovjberg. She was a great lady who really defined what a citizen is supposed to be. I'll miss her. RIP, Ann! *Happy Easter! Happy Easter to those of you that celebrate it! I hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday! *Environmentalists Missed One! It did not receive the publicity of the Dooley rezoning, but Johnson County residents just missed an opportunity to protect more environmentally sensitive areas. On Monday the 18th, the Board discussed our Sensitive Areas Ordinance. This ordinance requires developers to protect streams, slopes, old growth trees, etc. when doing subdivisions. Of all the things I have done as a Supervisor, this ordinance is one of the accomplishments of which I am most proud. I had asked that the topic be placed on the agenda, because I wanted to extend these Sensitive Areas protections to more properties. As things currently sit, developers can get around the Sensitive Areas Ordinance by simply doing very small developments. They can essentially incrementally avoid compliance with the ordinance. My proposal was to apply the Sensitive Areas Ordinance to all subdivisions of two or more lots. This would still allow farmers to split out a single lot for a child without the additional regulatory burden, while requiring it in all other cases. Unfortunately, there were not three votes to expand the reach of the Sensitive Areas Ordinance. I really wish the local environmental community would have taken this up as an issue. Board members pay attention when the public speaks up. I have tried, but I cannot MAKE people be interested in the topics I feel are important. So, an opportunity was missed. Meanwhile, this can serve as a reminder – elections have consequences. Had Supervisor Stutsman still been in office, this would have passed at least 3-2; perhaps 4-1 or 5-0. But she is gone, and things are now different in Johnson County. *DVIP Souper Bowl The Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) is holding its 16th annual Souper Bowl fundraiser on Thursday, March 28 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Clarion Highlander in Iowa City. Live music will be provided by The Surf Zombies. Tickets are $25 per person, $15 for students and children eat free. For more information or to volunteer, call DVIP at 351-1043. *American Winter American Winter is an award-winning documentary that follows the lives of people struggling through our recent economic downturn. Catch a free screening Saturday, March 30 at 2pm at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City. *Born Too Late? Ever heard the old pop hit “Born Too Late”? The Poni-Tails did that song in 1958. Interestingly, I have often thought that perhaps I was “born too late”. (My wife would counter that I am a prematurely grumpy old man. But she can write her own newsletter!) Why do I sometimes feel this way? I have a couple theories: Growing up on the farm, in the middle of nowhere, we were always a few years behind. I had a party line phone until high school, and had never even sampled any ethnic food (outside of Italian) until I came to college. A second factor is that I used to hang out with my father when I was a kid. We had a relationship that was more like being friends than being father/son. He took me places and talked to me about things that kids typically did not experience. What makes me “born too late”? A few examples: • I believe in traditions, so long as they are not discriminatory. • I believe kids should respect their elders. • I think 99% of all good music was recorded between 1955 and 1975. • I like to wear my hair short. • I prefer square bales to round. • I listen strictly to AM radio. • I believe in two-parent families. (They can be of the same gender, but you need at least two adults!) • I hate the designated hitter rule. I am not ashamed of being “old school” in some areas. In fact, I wear it with pride. I am concerned, however, that some of the things in which I believe most deeply are becoming old fashioned. When I was a kid, people believed in unions. Republicans and Democrats both belonged. Bosses made more, but not WAY more, than their employees. People had insurance in case something went wrong, and pensions for retirement. The average union family could own a home, send kids to college, take vacations, and perhaps get by with only one parent working. I hope I was not “born too late” for this to once again be the reality in America! When I was a kid, there was a strong belief that government was a good thing. Government protected us (cops, fire, military, etc.) and was there when we needed it (ambulances, FEMA, etc.) Government ensured that the air and water were clean, that food and toys were safe, that roads and bridges were in good shape. We were proud of our public schools. People had faith in our elections and institutions; that faith was well deserved because it had been earned. I hope I was not “born too late” for this to once again be the reality in America! I am most concerned about the idea that we are all in this together. Where I grew up, there was a long, long tradition of opening your home to a stranger needing help. Neighbors helped each other with chores. They cooked for each other when something bad happened. Churches, civic groups, clubs, bowling leagues…we were connected. The idea of caring for your fellow man was never questioned; it was your DUTY. Unfortunately, this seems to be changing. I hope I was not “born too late” for this to once again be the reality in America! We must not allow important pillars of our society to fade away as though they were fads like 8 track tapes or fondue pots. It is incumbent upon people who understand the importance of these institutions to speak up and speak out. *DID YOU KNOW? Born Too Late was the #7 song of 1958. 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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