Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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March 10, 2016

Sullivan’s Salvos     3/15/16

In this edition:

*Saint Patrick’s Day!
*Bob Sullivan
*Road Embargoes
*GOP Hypocrisy
*Downton Abbey
*Did You Know?

*Saint Patrick’s Day!
Happy St. Patty’s Day on March 17! St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite days of the year. While not an “official” holiday, this day has long been celebrated heartily by my Irish family.

         The tradition lives on… I almost always take St. Patrick’s Day off work. March 17 is a Thursday this year, so I have a Board meeting. Hopefully that will be a light agenda!  J

         Meanwhile, I hope each and every one of you is touched by a little luck o’ the Irish!

*Bob Sullivan
         March 17 holds a special place in my heart that goes beyond St. Patrick’s Day. That was also the birthday of my late father, Bob Sullivan.

         Dad was a proud union man, Hawkeye fan, and Irishman. We were father and son, but also best friends. I can honestly say he was probably the most fun person I have ever known.

         Unfortunately, he left this world much too soon, and never got the chance to meet any of his nine grandchildren. I miss him every single day, but especially on St. Patty’s Day.

         If you knew my dad and you are reading this – send me an email some time. I could really use a little time swapping stories and reminiscing.

         And, if you are looking for an extra toast on St. Patrick’s Day, allow me to suggest that you raise a glass to Bob Sullivan.

         Happy birthday, Dad.

*Road Embargoes
One of the sure “signs of spring” in Iowa is the list of embargoed roads! Winter weather – primarily cycles of freezing and thawing – can do tremendous damage to roads. In order to allow counties to protect the taxpayer investment in these roads, State law allows County Boards of Supervisors to impose weight restrictions.

The chip seal/oil road systems are most susceptible to damage and are most likely to be subjected to embargoes. Late February through early May is a very common time for the county to post weight restrictions on county roadways. Once posted, the restrictions may be in effect for a period of ninety days. In the past, posted roadways have been limited to any vehicle less than 8 gross tons. Please check the county website for additional information regarding Board approval and weight restrictions for the 2016 embargo season.

The County Engineer may issue a special permit to individuals who demonstrate a need to move market farm produce of the type subject to rapid spoilage or loss of value, or the need to move farm feeds or fuel for home heating purposes. The issuance of a permit may allow certain vehicles exceeding the weight limit to operate on embargoed roadways.

We get asked for exceptions all the time, but please note - permits will not be issued for any other reason - including transporting construction materials or equipment that exceeds the posted weight limit. Operation of over-weight vehicles on restricted roads without a permit will be at the risk of prosecution. Using alternate routes where possible and breaking down loads into smaller units are methods encouraged to minimize damage to these roads.

Permits for qualified participants will be issued at the Johnson County Secondary Road Department at 4810 Melrose Avenue in Iowa City. The following information will be needed to complete the permit: vehicle license plate number(s), driver’s name(s), type of material being transported, and planned route or roads you plan to travel.

         Again, for a list of embargoed roads, see the Secondary Roads page on the Johnson County website:

*GOP Hypocrisy
         Frankly, I am growing quite weary of GOP folks complaining about Donald Trump (and Ted Cruz, for that matter). Methinks they doth protest too much!

         The GOP has lurched far to the right over the past 20 years. They are now so far right that much “mainstream” Republican ideology is absurd on its face! They just keep pushing farther and farther to the ideological extreme.

         This started under Newt Gingerich, but accelerated with the election of Barack Obama. GOP leaders decided to push the narrative that Obama was evil, socialist, etc. If he said, “black”, they had to say, “white”. Literally and figuratively!

GOP leaders decided to be opposed to Obama no matter the impact on our country. Partisan politics were put squarely ahead of the needs of the people.

         Then one day they awaken, and their top two candidates are Trump and Cruz. And they look around and say, “How did this happen?” Folks, it is no secret! This is called reaping what you have sown!

         Even worse, after all the complaining about Trump and/or Cruz – using descriptors such as crazy, dangerous, etc. – the GOP mainstream is still going to support whichever wins.

         Ask every member of the GOP - point blank, if they would vote for the eventual GOP nominee. 99% of the time, the answer is yes.

         So quit whining. If Trump/Cruz were as bad as you claim, you wouldn’t vote for him. But 99% of you WILL vote for him. So save it!

*Downton Abbey
         It is English, not Irish… but Melissa and I have really enjoyed watching Downton Abbey over the years.

         Downton Abbey has brilliant writing, outstanding acting, gorgeous scenery, and wonderful costumes. But the thing that really sets it apart are the clever ways in which it addresses issues of class and wealth.

         My favorite actor in the show is Maggie Smith, who plays my favorite character, Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham. The Dowager also spoke my favorite line of the series: “What exactly is this ‘weekend’ of which they speak?”

*DID YOU KNOW?  There are 33.7 million U.S. residents who are of Irish ancestry. That number is almost nine times the population of Ireland itself.

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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