Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

Previous Posts


December 18, 2015

Sullivan’s Salvos     12/22/15

In this edition:

*Merry Christmas!
*Congratulations, Lisa!
*Holiday Office Schedule
*Serving As Chair
*Salvos Salutes Next Week!
*Hawkeye Football
*Did You Know?

*Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it. I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday!

*Congratulations, Lisa!
         The Johnson County Democratic Party has selected its nominee for the January 19 Special Supervisor Election.

         Lisa Green Douglass of rural North Liberty won the nomination at a special Democratic Party County Convention on December 16. Green Douglass has been involved in Democratic Party politics for a long time, serving 14 years on the Party’s Central Committee. Professionally, Lisa is a former Spanish professor who now teaches cultural competency to public safety workers, such as law enforcement, EMT, jails, etc. Lisa is the mother of five children, including triplets! As a result, she has been very involved as a volunteer in the Clear Creek Amana School District. Lisa has also volunteered as an interpreter at the Center for Worker Justice.

         I have known Lisa for quite some time; as a matter of fact, she received a Salvos Salute way back in 2006! At the time, Lisa was serving as Chair of the Clear Creek Amana drive toward a new high school, and the State of Iowa was cutting Johnson County a deal on local option sales taxes for schools. Lisa got the Salvos Salute for her efforts to make the LOST less regressive.

         That is the type of effort I really respect… it is easy to be against something. It is much more difficult to attempt to negotiate a solution that makes things better. Lisa has proven that she is willing to roll up her sleeves and work toward a solution.

         I wholeheartedly endorse Lisa Green Douglass for the office of Johnson County Supervisor! I hope she will have your support, too!

*Holiday Office Schedule
         A quick note on the Johnson County schedule for the holidays – administrative offices will be open on Thursday, December 24 (Christmas Eve), but then closed on Friday the 25th (Christmas).

         Offices will be open on Thursday, December 31 (New Year’s Eve), closed Friday, January 1st (New Year’s Day), and open again on Monday, January 4th.

         As always, the Sheriff’s Office, 911 dispatch, Medical Examiner’s Office, and Ambulance service will be running 24/7/365.

*Serving As Chair
The Johnson County Board of Supervisors has a tradition of rotating the position of Board Chair. Each year, a different member of the Board takes over at the first meeting of the year.

         Though it is basically a formality, the Board still votes to select its leader. There have been a couple notable instances when the “rotation” did not happen. Dick Myers and Joe Bolkcom, who both went on to serve notable careers in higher office, were both passed over by their peers.

         In some counties, the Chair rotates amongst the political party in charge. In Polk County, for example, the three Democrats rotate the role of Chair, effectively shutting out the GOP. In Muscatine County, the GOP used to do the same thing to Democratic Supervisors. In other counties, one individual has held the role of Chair for decades. So there is no set method other than holding the election.

         Personally, I do not see any reason to shut anyone out. While it can get cumbersome, we have always operated on the premise that three members (a majority) of the Board can put anything they wish on the agenda, even over the objection of the Chair.

         Additionally, individual Board members can impact the agenda without being Chair. I am proud of the fact that at my suggestion, agendas were changed to allow public discussion at both the beginning and end of each meeting. When I first started, public discussion was only at the end of the agenda. So if you showed up for a 5:30 PM meeting, you might not get to raise your issue until 9 PM. That was not friendly toward the public. But when I brought it up, others were happy to oblige.

         To me, the biggest job of the Chair is ensuring that meetings run smoothly. The public deserves efficiency and effectiveness. A well-run meeting can also save hours of staff time – and that means money!

         I am in line to serve as the Chair for 2016. I am looking forward to serving in that capacity, and I am happy to take your suggestions for improving Board meetings.

*Salvos Salutes Next Week!
We live in a GREAT county! Why? Because of the great people that live here! Unfortunately, we rarely do enough to acknowledge these wonderful people and the wonderful things they do.

         That is why I really look forward to Salvos Salutes. It provides an opportunity to mention just a few of these cool people and the good things they do. I hope you look forward to it as well!

*Hawkeye Football
         As you may know, I am a huge Hawkeye fan. I try not to write much about it, however, since you can find plenty of things written about Hawkeye athletics.

         I am going to make an exception today, however, as I think there is a lot we can learn from this record-setting Hawkeye football season.

         I do not know Coach Ferentz, though I do know his wife Mary. From the perspective of a big fan who admittedly does not know him personally, he has always struck me as a very decent, honest, stand-up guy. Not flashy, no bragging, no big ego. He has always seemed like the kind of coach you would want your son to have.

         Despite all those positive traits, the team’s struggles in 2014 wore on me and many other Hawkeye fans. While I never wanted to see Coach Ferentz fired, I felt as though the Hawks really needed to change some things.

         And you know what? Coach Ferentz did just that! He changed several things!

         Why is that such a big deal? Because when push comes to shove, we rarely look at ourselves critically. Even when we do look at ourselves critically, we are very unlikely to make changes.

         I think this is even more rare among people who have risen to a certain echelon or experienced a certain level of success. We have a tendency to get insular, quit listening, and decide we know best.

         I am very impressed by the willingness of Coach Ferentz to continue to listen and learn. I am going to try to use him as an example, and see where I can change things for the better.

*DID YOU KNOW?  Iowa’s 16-13 loss to Michigan State was the first game all season in which Iowa trailed in the fourth quarter!

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