Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

Previous Posts


November 7, 2013

Sullivan’s Salvos     11/12/13

In this edition:

*RIP Nancy Swisher
*City Election Results
*Planning and Zoning
*Green Building Certification
*Homeless Children’s Trust
*Center For Worker Justice
*Did You Know?

*RIP Nancy Swisher
         We lost a real gem a few days ago with the passing of Nancy Swisher of Iowa City. Nancy was a kind soul who really cared deeply about making the world a better place.

         I am glad I had the opportunity to know her. RIP, Nancy.

*City Election Results
         The voters have spoken, and the results are in!

         In Iowa City, the top issues seemed to be diversity, affordable housing, and downtown. The status quo won 2/3 races, with incumbents Susan Mims and Terry Dickens holding their seats. Newcomer Kingsley Botchway II claimed the other position.

         She did not win, but candidate Royceann Porter really set the terms of the discussion. And Rockne Cole and Catherine Champion are unlikely to go away! We’ll see what happens on these issues over the next two years.

         In Coralville, the issue was good versus evil. (Or so I was told.) Record voter turnout gave us the following results: In the Mayoral race, incumbent Councilor John Lundell easily defeated three other challengers. Incumbent Councilors Bill Hoeft and Tom Gill also won, along with former city employee Laurie Goodrich. So Americans for Prosperity went 0-4 in their misguided intervention into Coralville politics. Now we’ll see if we can get a joint meeting!

         A couple other races of note: in University Heights, local elections once again approached Gubernatorial levels of turnout. On Tuesday, over 60% turned out to elect the more “pro-development” of the two slates. This probably means less compromise and more pushing forward on the proposed St. Andrew development.

The race in Tiffin has been quite contentious; the interesting result there is former Mayor and current Councilor Royce Phillips losing his seat. Similarly, newcomer Markus Cannon defeated Bryan Bredman, incumbent Mayor of Shueyville, by just two votes. In Oxford, Gary Wilkinson won the race to replace Don Saxton, who is retiring after 44 years of service. Voters in Oxford took this seriously, voting at a 45% clip.

         I have only touched on a few of the many races that were decided Tuesday; for a complete list, go to

         Thanks again to all who threw a hat into the ring and stood for election. And congratulations to all the winners. You were just hired for some very important jobs! I wish you all luck!

*Planning and Zoning
         Members of the Board of Supervisors often hear that our citizens really care about Planning and Zoning. I believe people when they say this, and there is evidence to back it up – candidates who support good Planning and Zoning principles have won the majority of our elections over the past 20 years.

         Still, when the Board is actually faced with Planning and Zoning decisions, the only people who speak want to subvert, change, or abolish our zoning rules. The Board hears from these folks frequently; supporters of good planning? Not so much.

         One real pet peeve of mine – our Sensitive Areas Ordinance only applies to subdivisions of 3 or more lots. It should apply to all subdivisions of 2 or more lots. This is a loophole that simply must be closed! But right now, only two Supervisors support this change. Until we get three votes, the Sensitive Areas Ordinance is impotent. It would be great to have the public begin to pressure Supervisors to do the right thing in this case.

         You can change the way zoning decisions occur in this County! The Board meets tonight (Tuesday, November 12) at 5:30pm to discuss several zoning matters. Show up. See what you think. Speak your mind.

*Green Building Certification
         Johnson County recently won an Excellence in Action award from the Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC) for our Green Building Certification program.

         This ISAC award is given annually to a county that comes up with an innovative idea. This is at least the 3rd and perhaps the 4th award Johnson County has won since the award was created approximately 6 years ago.

         The Green Building Certification program is administered through the Building Division of the P&Z Department. Our Building Inspectors work with builders to certify that building elements are done according to the best practices in environmental sustainability. Upon inspection, builders who chose to build their home or business to the higher standard receive a certification. This certification stays with the building, so future buyers will know how it was constructed. Everything is voluntary, but because the public is demanding greater sustainability, the program is growing.

         We will be able to pick this award up next week at the ISAC annual meeting in Des Moines. Congratulations to Johnson County P&Z Department on this well-deserved award!

*Homeless Children’s Trust
         The annual Homeless Children’s Trust Christmas Party is Saturday, December 7th. Volunteers are needed – to help, please call Mary Larew at 338-1212 or 337-2264, or e-mail her at

*Center For Worker Justice
         The Center For Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa (CWJ) is celebrating its 1st Anniversary with an open house on Saturday, November 16 from 2-6pm.

         This is an opportunity to salute the hundreds of volunteers who have worked for the past year to help the CWJ take root. This has been a year of education, organizing, and social change. People are speaking up, wage theft is being addressed, and good things are happening.

         This event will be held at the new office space recently secured by the CWJ at 940 South Gilbert Court in Iowa City.

*DID YOU KNOW?  The Johnson County Land Use Plan was adopted in 2008.

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!



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home