Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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December 16, 2016

Sullivan’s Salvos     12/20/16

In this edition:

*Merry Christmas!
*Salvos Salutes Next Week!
*Remember the Upcoming Wage Increase!
*Serving as Chair
*Listen For Yourself!
*Saturday Hours for Veteran’s Affairs
*Did You Know?

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

*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!

*Remember the Upcoming Wage Increase!
Remember - the minimum wage in Johnson County will increase another $.95 to $10.10 per hour starting January 1st!

Johnson County raised the wage $.95 to $8.20 on November 1, 2015, and another $.95 to $9.15 on May 1, 2016. Since then, the unemployment rate has remained static, while low-wage workers have enjoyed a higher standard of living. So far, so good!

There are still plenty of critics out there. But their protestations are sounding more and more like a case of ideological sour grapes. Increasing the minimum wage has been a very good thing for Johnson County.

         Remember - this law applies to everyone who works in Johnson County more than two hours in a two-week period. No other employment laws were changed when the minimum wage was raised. If you have questions about the minimum wage in Johnson County, please visit the County website at

*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 finishing up serving as the Chair for 2016. I hope I acquitted myself well in that role!

*Listen For Yourself!
         There have been recent social media posts questioning things said at meetings of the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. If you ever have any questions as to exactly what is said at any meeting, you can listen in for yourself!

Regular Thursday meetings have both video and audio feeds. Work sessions, etc. are available audio only. You can find both at the Johnson County website -

         Don’t assume that what you hear on social media is true – just listen in for yourself!

*Saturday Hours for Veteran’s Affairs
The Johnson County Commission of Veterans Affairs is offering limited Saturday office hours in upcoming months. The office will be open December 3, 2016; January 7, February 4, and March 4, 2017, from 9 am to noon. Its regular business hours are Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.

Veterans Affairs Director Gary Boseneiler said the weekend hours are intended to accommodate veterans. “I’ve spoken with people who have difficulty getting to my office because of their work schedules. Boseneiler said his office can help connect Veterans to the benefits they have earned, including:

• Approving Veteran Designation on Drivers Licenses

• Filing for Service Connected Disabilities

• Filing for Veterans Pension

• Obtaining Military Documents

• Providing Temporary Emergency Financial Assistance with rent, utilities, or food

• Enrolling for VA Health Care

• Assisting with signing up for military property tax exemption

• Assisting with ordering Veterans license plates

Although walk-ins are welcome, in order to better serve Veterans, Boseneiler recommends making an appointment by contacting him at 319-356-6049 or More information is available on the Veterans Affairs page at

*DID YOU KNOW?  The real Saint Nicholas was born in Turkey in 270 AD.

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!



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