Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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December 2, 2016

Sullivan’s Salvos     12/6/16

In this edition:

*Big News!
*Comprehensive Plan
*Items in Salvos
*Recall Elections
*Homeless Children’s Trust Xmas Party
*Did You Know?

*Big News!
         We got some big news recently… my oldest daughter Rachel is pregnant with our first grandchild! She is due in mid-May – and life will never be the same again! I am both nervous and excited; please wish us luck!

*Comprehensive Plan
         Johnson County is beginning a first-ever Comprehensive Plan, which will also serve as a more comprehensive update of our Land Use Plan. We have contracted with JEO, a large Midwestern firm, to lead us through the process.

         We have also appointed a Comprehensive Plan Committee that consists of 21 Johnson County residents. This group has me very excited! A bit about them:

         The committee consists of 11 women and 10 men. 11 live in the unincorporated parts of the county, while 10 live in cities. The most common address is Iowa City (8), followed by Coralville (4), Solon (3), North Liberty (2), Riverside (2), Lone Tree (1) and Swisher (1).

         There are 4-6 people involved in agriculture, and 6-7 involved in real estate/building/development. There are at least 8 people who would almost certainly be viewed as environmentalists. There are backgrounds in recycling, bicycling, finance, teaching, and law enforcement.

         There are two professors from the UI College of Urban and Regional Planning, plus representatives of the League of Women Voters, Farm Bureau, Homebuilders Association, and Local Foods Policy Council, just to name a few.

         As you can tell, this is a diverse group! Most importantly, they all care deeply about Johnson County, and want to make it a better place to live, work, and play!

         The committee’s next meeting is January in room 203 of the County Health and Human Services (HHS) Building. All meetings are open to the public. The committee will meet about 6 times. There will also be a few public input sessions. All of this will be listed on the County website at

*Items in Salvos
         I get occasional requests to run things in Salvos. I never realized how controversial this could get, but it seems to have caused some friction between some of my friends and I! So please allow me to explain my thoughts.

         I have never created “rules” in terms of what I will/will not include. I just don’t want to get that formal, frankly. Getting this out weekly can be a bit of a chore, and I just don’t want to make it any more difficult. I don’t have any staff. No intern. Nothing. This is just me, which can get a bit daunting.

         I date each edition of Salvos as a Tuesday, even though you will likely get it over the weekend. The idea of how to date each edition is stolen from the publishing industry; they want you to be able to buy magazines over a period of time knowing they will remain relevant. So Salvos is written in such a way that if you do not read it until Tuesday morning, it should still be relevant.

         That affects what I will run and when. If you send me an item on Thursday the 13th for Saturday the 15th, I am extremely unlikely to run it. Because I know several folks will not see it until after the 15th. And I want each edition to be relevant.

         So get me your information ASAP. Give me some time to work it in. And please do not be offended if I decided not to run your item. I am doing my best to put out a product that 400+ people will find interesting and informative each week. It is not easy!

*Recall Elections
         Recent election results have some folks discussing the idea of recall elections. Personally, I think recall elections are extremely bad policy. When a person gets elected, she/he deserves to fill out the term of office, no matter how badly she/he performs. I feel strongly that recalls are bad at any level of government.

         I do think every level of government needs a provision for impeachment. If an elected official is convicted of a felony, fails to fulfill the duties of the office, or commits some other high crime, there should be recourse available to remove that person from office.

         Note, however, that impeachment should not EVER be used because elected officials disagree. It should ONLY be used when the law and/or oath of office has been violated.

         Eight states allow recall elections, but only when laws have been violated. 11 states allow recalls with no reason necessary. Iowa is one of the 31 states with no provision for recall elections.

         I am very glad Iowa does not allow recall elections without cause. That probably means the Legislature will pass it this year!

*Homeless Children’s Trust Xmas Party
This year's Christmas party is Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Moose Lodge in Iowa City. The Trust, sponsored by the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program (HACAP), helps families in poverty celebrate the holidays.

Participating parents get a $50 Kmart gift card to buy gifts. While the parents shop, the Trust throws a holiday party with donated food and entertainment.

Melissa and I volunteer every year. You can volunteer, or mail checks payable to the Homeless Children's Trust to 367 Southgate Ave. Iowa City, IA 52240. 

*DID YOU KNOW?  The addition of an energy-efficient heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) system to the Johnson County Administration Building has resulted in a rebate of $126,789 from MidAmerican Energy.

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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