Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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February 25, 2016

Sullivan’s Salvos     3/1/16

In this edition:

*RIP Denny Langenberg
*Save the Date!
*Budget Highlights
*Saber Rattling
*Foster Care
*Arc Chili Supper
*Crisis Center Pancake Breakfast
*Did You Know?

*RIP Denny Langenberg
Former Johnson County Supervisor Denny Langenberg passed away last week. Denny served from 1978-86, and longtime employees always speak fondly of him. RIP, Denny.

*Save the Date!
We are having a Sullivan for Supervisor Fundraiser on Tuesday, March 29, from 5-7 P.M. at The Mill.

Please join us for pizza, beverages, and fun! Everyone is invited! Call 319-354-7199 or email for more information.

*Budget Highlights
         As the Board of Supervisors prepares to vote on the FY17 budget, I thought I would mention a few of my own personal highlights:

         For the first time ever, Johnson County is making a significant investment in affordable housing. The budget contains $600,000 that will be granted to the Housing Trust Fund of Johnson County, a local nonprofit that finances affordable housing projects. The Housing Trust Fund will then use that $600,000 as part of a revolving loan fund. This is a very big step. I have long advocated the position that the number one issue facing Johnson County is a lack of affordable housing. By making this investment, the County is finally putting its’ money where its’ mouth is. I am extremely proud of this investment!

         Another important investment is the Ambulance/Medical Examiner Building. This is a new building, being built on what used to be three lots in the 800 block of South Dubuque Street. (One of those lots is currently home to the Ambulance Department.) This building will add much needed space to the Ambulance, Medical Examiner, and Facilities Departments, as well as serving as home to the Auditor’s Office voting equipment. Most folks do not realize how critical the Ambulance and Medical Examiner Offices are to public safety, nor do they realize how insufficiency of our current space. The new building should make both departments much more efficient.

         The final thing I’ll mention is a new employee in our Jail Diversion program, the third such employee. As you may or may not know, Johnson County has been doing a phenomenal job of lowering our jail population. It is still not enough to avoid transporting prisoners out of county, but our jail populations are down about 30%. That is good for everyone! One area where we can still improve, however, is the area of disproportionate minority contact (DMC). I am hopeful that the addition of this new position will allow us to do more in the way of addressing DMC in the coming year.

         Those are my own personal highlights. I hope you share my enthusiasm for these expenditures. Meanwhile, feel free to email or call if you want to discuss anything budget related.

*Saber Rattling
         I HATE saber rattling! As a matter of fact, there is nothing in politics I detest more. I long for a political campaign where more than one or two candidates preach peace, and in which that stance is respected.

         It HAS happened before – I firmly believe President Obama’s decision to oppose the Iraq War won him the Iowa Caucuses in 2008. And it should! Many Americans seem to have forgotten the fact, but war is something to be avoided.

We have heard candidates talk tough: “Bomb the s@#$ out of them,” and “Carpet bomb them.” This makes me sick. Haughty, rich old men sending desperate, poor young men to die, just to assuage egos. It is not just sickening, it is evil.

         I am just SO tired of it! When will our so-called Christian candidates adopt a stance of peace? Jesus was quite clear: “Blessed be the peacemakers.” The hypocrisy is almost more than I can bear! Unfortunately, I feel as though I am stumbling around through a version of The Emperor’s New Clothes.

         President Eisenhower nailed it when he warned us about the military industrial complex. No one understood this better than Ike, and we should have listened.

         Personally, I am going to continue to vote for candidates who embrace peace, and urge my elected officials at every level to vote for peace whenever they get a chance.

*Foster Care
         I have mentioned foster care previously in Salvos. As you may recall, Melissa and I have been foster parents for 18 years. During that time, we have had just over 40 children in our home. Some stayed only a few hours; 3 kids we adopted. All in all, it has definitely been the best thing we have ever done.

Melissa and I recently began providing foster care for another young lady. So far, things have been going well. But it also reminds me that I am getting a bit old for this.

I know the need is there; that is not even a question. And I want to do my part. Foster Care numbers are actually down – nearing an all-time low. While Iowa had about 8,000 kids in care just 7-8 years ago, the numbers now are around 5,000. The problem is, the number of foster families has also dropped. We need new people.

Are you that person? Is your son or daughter that person? Your neighbor? Iowa is in desperate need. I strongly encourage you to check it out!

For more information, contact Iowa KidsNet at

*Arc Chili Supper
         The Arc of SE Iowa is holding its annual Chili Supper Friday, March 4 from 4:30-7:30 PM at River Community Church, 3001 Muscatine Avenue in Iowa City.

         Adults are $10, children $5, and under 3 eat free. All proceeds benefit children and adults with disabilities.

*Crisis Center Pancake Breakfast
         The Crisis Center is holding its’ annual Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, March 5 from 7 AM-12 PM at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Iowa City.

         Tickets are available at the door - $6 for adults, $3 for children. Breakfast includes all-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, coffee, and milk, in addition to gourmet pancake toppings.

         This event is a critical fundraiser for the Crisis Center – the biggest of the year! Please join us!

*DID YOU KNOW?  Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has been in office over 7,700 days, making him the longest serving Governor in US history.

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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