Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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September 6, 2013

Sullivan’s Salvos     9/10/13

In this edition:

*School Board Elections
*Soul Festival
*Thanks, Senator Dvorsky!
*Credit Unions
*Did You Know?

*School Board Elections
         School Board elections take place today in Johnson County.

         Good luck to all the candidates, and thank you for your willingness to take on this daunting task! I wish you all the best!

         My recommendations? Jedlicka and Schwab in Solon; Cook, Tate, and Barron in the ICCSD. (See last week’s Salvos for more details.)

         People of Johnson County – vote! Schools affect us all, every day. Please go to your polling place and do your civic duty! (Polling places can be different for school elections; see to find your polling place.)

*Soul Festival
         A new event from our friends at Summer of the Arts! The Iowa Soul Festival is a celebration that features the dance, music, food and art of the African and African-American communities. This event is designed to highlight the positive influences that the culture has on Iowa City, the Creative Corridor and Eastern Iowa.

The three-day event will feature locally, regionally and nationally recognized artists. Activities will engage current residents while inspiring previous and future residents and students to explore learning, working, living and playing in Iowa. Enjoy live entertainment, soul food, African-American inspired art, a FUN Zone for the kids, and much more!

         The inaugural Soul Festival runs Friday, September 13 through Sunday, September 15 in downtown Iowa City. Friday features the legendary Buddy Guy!

         This is an exciting and much-needed celebration in our County! Hope to see you there!

*Thanks, Senator Dvorsky!
         The Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) honored Senator Bob Dvorsky of Coralville this week as their “Friend of Housing”. IFA noted the way that Senator Dvorsky is always able to get something done in support of affordable housing.

         I started thinking about it, and I realized that there are MANY groups who can always count on Bob to “bring home the bacon”. Regents institutions, k-12 education, teachers, State and local governments, seniors, people with disabilities, poor folks, union members, corrections, law enforcement, libraries, tourism, conservation, elections, civil rights, clean water, health care… Bob gets it done for all these groups, and many more, every year. And he has done so for decades.

         I used the term “bring home the bacon” earlier, and some will view this as a slam. Those who feel government is bloated and wasteful will see it as a negative. Thing is, state and local governments are actually very efficient. People don’t get wealthy; they earn fair salaries in exchange for helping their fellow citizens. Providing the adequate resources to allow these groups to do their jobs is important, and Senator Dvorsky gets this done.

         Just as important, you can always go to Senator Dvorsky to get a common sense Legislative fix. It is rarely all about money; many times, we simply need to change a word or two in the Iowa Code. Bob is the guy you go to when you want this done.

         Congratulations, Senator, on your recent award. And thank you for doing SO much for SO many for SO long!

*Credit Unions
         There has been a person walking around downtown Iowa City with a clipboard, attempting to get signatures to “protect the status of credit unions.”

         I couldn’t let this go, so I began asking questions. She was not interested in my questions, and quickly walked away. So while I cannot speak directly for her, here is the scoop as I see it:

Basically, credit unions are classified as nonprofits, meaning they enjoy several tax advantages that banks do not. These tax loopholes are coming under fire, and the credit unions are fighting back.

         I understand why these differences existed in the first place. There were areas of the country where banks were unavailable. There were people banks refused to serve. Credit unions were small, local, member-operated, and filled that important niche.

Fast forward several decades, however, and many credit unions are as large as local banks. Frankly, I cannot understand why large credit unions deserve any type of tax break whatsoever.

Don’t get me wrong; I HATE the fact that we have banks that are “too big to fail”. But those are not our local institutions. I think everyone would be better off if we all banked locally. I believe our local banks deserve an equal playing field versus credit unions that are just as large.

         It seems to me that an institution’s tax status should be related to the amount of deposits they control. Otherwise, it is just a big tax loophole. If a small institution can demonstrate that it fills an underserved niche, give them a break – whether they are a bank or a credit union.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I bank at MidWest One, but Melissa uses the UICCU. We are joint owners of each other’s accounts.)

*DID YOU KNOW?  You can renew your vehicle registrations online at:

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.

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As always, feel free to contact me at 354-7199 or I look forward to serving you!



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