Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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October 31, 2014

Sullivan’s Salvos     11/4/14

In this edition:

*Happy Birthday Rachel!
*Questions For The Candidates
*Monday Morning Quarterbacks
*Affordable Housing
*Raising Ms. President
*Happy Birthday CWJ!
*Did You Know?

*Happy Birthday Rachel!
My oldest daughter Rachel turns 23 on November 6th. Rachel has always been fun to be around; her smile can light up a room. I am proud of the fact that she is maturing and really starting to figure things out.

         Happy Birthday, Honey! I love you!

         Today is your day! You’ve had all fall to listen to commercials; it is time to get out and act like a citizen!

         And please do not forget the back of the ballot. Nonpartisan offices, judge retentions, and ballot initiatives all deserve your attention!

*Questions For The Candidates
         Throughout every campaign, various groups of well-intentioned individuals hold candidate forums. At the same time, a few of the various media outlets do a variety of things to inform the public. Yet I find very little of this to be helpful to voters.

         I think every forum - whether it is for President of the US or Township Trustee – and every “voter guide” - would be better if they just stuck to the following questions:

*What experiences qualify you for this office?
*What do you see as the three biggest issues facing the office?
*How would you address those three issues?
*Why should the voters select you instead of the other candidate(s)?
*Is there anything you would like to ask another candidate?
*Would you like to say more about anything discussed here?

         In all honesty, I think that set of questions would shed more light than any I have ever heard asked. The opportunity to ask candidates questions is critical – we must not squander the opportunity!

*Monday Morning Quarterbacks
         You know how this phrase got started…. It is easy to sit in judgment after the fact, and complain about what a quarterback (or coach) SHOULD have done. I am sometimes guilty of this; we all are.

But I see a difference between a loyal fan questioning her team and a person who did nothing to support the cause. I may question something the Hawkeyes do, but my love of the Hawkeyes runs deep. I support them emotionally, financially, etc. In my mind, I have paid my dues, and therefore earned the right to comment.

The elections are over, and now it is time for the Monday Morning Quarterbacks of the political world to rear their ugly heads. Like the football variety, they seem to know what should have happened after the fact.

Both Republicans and Democrats have plenty of these folks. They can tell you exactly what Braley or Ernst SHOULD have done.

So, my question to the MMQs: Did you make any calls? Did you knock any doors? Did you contribute any money? Did you write any letters? Did you pay your dues in any way?

The people who suffer most from the slings and arrows are the local political parties themselves. Apart from several temporary college-aged staff people, local political parties are made up of local people. They are volunteers. And yes, often they do not operate as well as they could. But you know what? Half the battle is showing up! Don’t like how your local party operates? Join it, and try to make some changes.

There is an old saying: “If you don’t vote, don’t complain”. But in reality, that saying is not the law. As Americans, we are free to say just about anything we want. So get ready to listen to a whole bunch of people who should be quarterbacks and Senators.

*Affordable Housing
Affordable Housing was the topic at the October 27 Joint Government Meeting. That is a good thing, in my mind… I continue to believe that affordable housing is by far the number one problem facing Johnson County.

I was pleased by the discussion at the Joint Meeting. There was a committee suggested, but committees rarely work in this type of circumstance. The one person from each elected body who is interested serves on the committee, then it dies for a lack of interest.

What we decided to do instead - each entity is going to have a public discussion on the topic in the next couple months, and invite some of the local housing experts. Each entity is charged with deciding what specific steps it is willing to take. This will be documented, then presented at the next joint meeting.

This is good, because we were NEVER going to get all the entities to agree to the same standards. NEVER. So instead, let’s ask each individual city to do what it is willing to do.

It is not perfect; far from it. I wish everyone at the table agreed that affordable housing was a problem they have a responsibility to address. But that is not the case. So let’s do the best we can with what we have. 

At least we'll know where every entity stands. Speculation will be over. If you like what a certain city is doing, you can tell them so. If you want a given city to do something different, you can tell them so. And hopefully we can compare notes and learn from each other.

*Raising Ms. President
Several area agencies are partnering to bring “Raising Ms President” to the Iowa City area. The film will be shown Saturday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. in the Iowa City Public Library.

The partners include Iowa City Public Library, League of Women Voters of Johnson County, Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, 50-50 in 2020, Girls on the Run of Eastern Iowa and the University of Iowa WISE program.

Raising Ms President is a non-partisan documentary about raising the next generation of female political leaders. The film explores some of the reasons women don’t run for office and uncovers where political ambition begins. The film is recommended for ages 14 and older. A panel discussion will follow the screening.

For more info, contact: Gaylen Wobeter, League of Women Voters Johnson County, or 338.5218; Shelly Wells Cain,; Mary Ellen Miller, 50-50 in 2020,; Ginny Ryan, Girls on the Run of Eastern Iowa,; Christine Brus, University of Iowa WISE program,

*Happy Birthday CWJ!
Saturday, November 8 from 2-6pm is the second birthday of the Center for Worker Justice (CWJ)! Come celebrate two years of organizing together for a better future with the Center for Worker Justice.

It's a potluck, we've got children's activities, good stories, and best of all, great company. Stop by with your family and friends at your convenience and join the celebration.

*DID YOU KNOW?  Francis Drake was 66 years old at his inauguration and Iowa's oldest governor.

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.

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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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