Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

Previous Posts


September 19, 2014

Sullivan’s Salvos     9/23/14

In this edition:

*Iowa Shares
*Joint Meetings
*State Childcare Assistance
*ICCSD Diversity Policy
*Democratic Party Fall BBQ
*Did You Know?

*Iowa Shares
I recently put in a plug for the United Way campaign. It should be noted that there are a variety of good causes not a part of the United Way campaign – and Iowa Shares picks up where the United Way leaves off.

The mission of Iowa Shares states: “Iowa Shares is a coalition of social change, environmental and cultural nonprofit organizations throughout the state of Iowa. We make a direct impact on our communities through research, education, advocacy and direct service.” Please take a look at their website,

Many of you sincerely want to help make Johnson County and all of Iowa a better place. Iowa Shares is helping to do that. Please consider donating today!

*Joint Meetings
         I have written much recently about intergovernmental relations between Iowa City and Johnson County. If you live, work, or own property in either place, you should be pissed!

         Why? Because we are missing countless opportunities to provide better governance. We simply need to hold some joint meetings.

We have opportunities to cut costs and increase services – but those opportunities are lost if we never meet. The county has met with every other city in Johnson County, except Coralville, which is scheduled. And you know what? The meetings are helpful.

         I’ve been talking/writing about this for almost ten years. Ten years! How many opportunities have been missed during that time?

         It would be really cool if the Gazette and Press Citizen asked City Councilors and the City Manager about this on the record. It would be really cool if they held our two groups accountable. The media wants greater transparency, right? Why don’t they write about the fact that Johnson County has officially requested joint meetings for AT LEAST five years, yet Iowa City refuses to meet? Isn’t that newsworthy?

         The public DESERVES joint meetings that tackle the tough issues. But that will NEVER happen until YOU DEMAND it! I’ve tried. They mumble to my face, and laugh behind my back. I would think it would be embarrassing by now, but apparently not. Joint meetings are the right thing to do. I cannot make them happen. It is up to you.

         League of Women Voters? Chamber of Commerce? ICAD? This should be something about which you care! Let’s make some noise! Please help me get this done!

*State Childcare Assistance
One thing that Johnson County needs to discuss with Coralville and North Liberty is related to after school care.

There are several before and after school programs (BASPs) in the ICCSD. Many of the BASPs are run as parent-led collectives; my kids attended such a program - Hoover On Campus Care (HOCC). My wife was on the HOCC Board; they used the school facilities, but were operated completely independently of the ICCSD. These BASPs are lifesavers for working parents whose schedules require childcare before and/or after the school day.

City recreation departments operate a few of these BASPs. The Iowa City Rec Department accepts State Child Care Assistance; programs run by the Coralville and North Liberty Rec Centers do not.

I believe it is critical that the rec center-based childcare programs accept State Childcare Assistance.

There are a few reasons for this:

1.) It creates inequity. A poor child in Iowa City is likely to be able to access State Childcare Assistance. The same child in Coralville or North Liberty will not get the same funding.

2.) It creates different policies/procedures. There is much to be said for a single set of rules at each site.

3.) It will save the County money. Right now, we are supplanting State money with County money. This cannot continue.

4.) We already paid for it once. As state taxpayers, we are funding State Childcare Assistance. We should get back what we have paid in.

I implore Coralville and North Liberty to do the right thing, and require that all programs accept State Childcare funding.

*ICCSD Diversity Policy
         It appears the ICCSD Board of Directors is backing away from the Diversity Policy. I think this is unfortunate.

         The policy was never perfect. From creation through implementation, it was not exactly a smooth process. There was strong opposition from the start, and the opposition remains strong today.

         So, the Diversity Policy will become irrelevant. Now what?

         Some DP opponents have said it does not matter with whom you go to school. Except that several studies show this is NOT true.

         Some DP opponents have said we will just put extra resources into our highest FRL schools. Where will we get these extra resources?

         Some DP opponents have said we will decrease class sizes at our highest FRL schools. How will we create the extra classroom space? How will we pay for the additional teachers?

         The DP may go away, but the poor kids do not. The DP wasn’t perfect, but for the first time in my memory, an ICCSD Board voted to put the FRL kids first. Now that is history. Where do we go from here?

         I sincerely hope that the ICCSD Board will remain committed to our most vulnerable children.

*Democratic Party Fall BBQ
         Save the date! The Johnson County Democratic Party is holding its annual Fall BBQ on Sunday, October 5th from 3-7pm at the Johnson County Fairgrounds.

         Special guest speakers include Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Tickets and more info are available at:

*DID YOU KNOW?  Voters will be asked to weigh in on a proposed Courthouse Annex in the upcoming election. For more info, see:

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