Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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February 13, 2015

Sullivan’s Salvos     2/17/15

In this edition:

*County Budget Hearing
*City Fed Chili Supper
*North Liberty Mayor Amy Nielsen
*Mount Rushmore
*Pitchers and Catchers Report!
*Bowl For Kids’ Sake
*Did You Know?

*County Budget Hearing
The public hearing on the proposed budget for FY 2016 is Wednesday, February 25th at 6:00 PM in the boardroom. There will be a reception prior to the meeting starting at 5:30 PM.

The budget worksheet and state form are posted on the Finance webpage at: We will be happy to answer any questions you might have; please call 356-6000 if you wish to discuss the budget.

*City Fed Chili Supper
         The annual Iowa City Federation of Labor Chili Supper is at 6pm on Thursday, February 26 at the City Fed office, 940 Gilbert Court in Iowa City. All friends of organized labor are welcome!

         I am proud to note that the Johnson County Board of Supervisors is being honored at this event. As a lifelong supporter of labor, I am truly grateful.

*North Liberty Mayor Amy Nielsen
         I was incredibly proud of the leadership demonstrated by North Liberty Mayor Amy Nielsen recently.

         As you may recall, Amy was elected back in November, upsetting the incumbent. She promised to try some new things, and I see that her words are turning into actions!

         Mayor Nielsen convinced her fellow councilors to put $50,000 in the budget to address transportation alternatives. From the description I read, there was a great deal of spirited discussion over this issue.

         Some councilors did not want to set aside the money without knowing specifically how it would be spent. Mayor Nielsen argued that this would lead to the same old results, because even if an idea was floated, there would be no funding available. And if no good idea is forthcoming, you do not need to spend the money.

I happen to agree with Amy on this. I often hear folks complaining about the lack of available transportation in North Liberty. Yes, some of that is transportation to and from Iowa City/Coralville. But more often, people want a ride to Fareway, the local UIHC clinic, or the City offices.

More importantly than the transportation issue itself – I saw great leadership in this story. Mayor Nielsen changed the old thinking, and bought everyone else along. It was impressive. The future is bright!

By the way, I read about this whole thing in the North Liberty Leader. Thanks, Leader, for the great coverage!

*Mount Rushmore
         You are all familiar with Mount Rushmore, a South Dakota mountain home to the huge sculptures of four of our greatest Presidents. My family and I visited a couple of summers ago, and it is worth the trip.

It has become trendy to refer to a “Mount Rushmore” of any given set of people. A “Mount Rushmore” of jazz drummers. A “Mount Rushmore” of cancer research. A “Mount Rushmore” of NFL quarterbacks. Basically, naming the four best at any given thing.

         I don’t have any problem with folks comparing and contrasting folks who are great at what they do. The people who are included in those discussions are worthy of our praise. But I DO have a problem with the basic premise behind every “Mount Rushmore” analogy.

         I am not convinced that the real Mount Rushmore represents our four greatest Presidents. I think the man who was President when Mount Rushmore was created – Franklin Delano Roosevelt – is among the four best Presidents of all time.

         Thing is, you will find lots of Roosevelt streets, schools, etc. – but they are all named for Teddy Roosevelt. That is because they were all built during the Presidency of FDR! A remarkably small number of things actually honor the man who got us through the Depression and won WWII.

         So, have your “Mount Rushmore” debates. They are all in good fun. Just remember, the four best aren’t on the real thing!

*Pitchers and Catchers Report!
         I love baseball. I love everything about it. Perhaps the thing I love the most is the hope that accompanies every spring. Like Easter, like nature, baseball offers us a rebirth. A new opportunity for better things.

         Pitchers and catchers get it all started this week. I can hardly wait! I hope you and your team are excited at the prospect of a new beginning!

*Bowl For Kids’ Sake
         You still have time to sponsor us as we Bowl For Kids' Sake! The 2015 Bowl For Kids’ Sake event will be February 28-March 1, and is presented by University of Iowa Community Credit Union.

Through Bowl For Kids Sake, one of the area's oldest and most successful fundraisers, you'll be making a real difference in a child’s life--both now and in the future. Raise pledges for BBBS mentoring programs, and we’ll thank you with free BBBS t-shirts, a free round of bowling and shoe rental, music, door prizes, and more. (It’s kind of like a big party that’s being thrown in your honor.)

Even better, you’ll be rewarded by becoming a partner in the effective, reliable, and sustainable services provided by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Johnson County.

         For more info, see:

*DID YOU KNOW?  Youth in Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mentoring program meet regularly with their adult mentors for an average of two-and-a-half years (31 months).

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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