Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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June 8, 2017

Sullivan’s Salvos     6/13/17

In this edition:

*Father’s Day
*Iowa City Pride
*Quality of Life
*Urban Wildlife
*Kmart Closing
*Dad’s Phone Number
*Did You Know?

*Father’s Day
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there! Being a dad is the best thing I have ever done. It is also the most difficult. I imagine that is the case for most fathers.

It has been several years since I have had the pleasure of enjoying a living father or grandfather. If you are lucky enough to have a father or grandfather around, please take a moment to reach out to him this weekend.

*Iowa City Pride
Come celebrate community, individuality, and PRIDE at Iowa City's Pride 2017! The Parade is Saturday, June 17 and starts at noon at College Green Park.

The Festival is also June 17, from 12 PM - 5:30 PM in the Pedestrian Mall. The Festival features vendors and information booths from all over the area.

Festivities continue this year along Linn Street with food vendors, a dunk tank, and the party space of Studio 13!

And new this year: be sure to check out our dedicated community spaces for queer people of color, transgender & nonbinary folks, and LGBTQ Elders. More information will be coming about these, too!

*Quality of Life
On Wednesday, June 7, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors hosted the event “Enhancing Quality of Life in Johnson County: A Celebration of Community Partners,” at the Johnson County Health and Human Services Building. The event was an opportunity for the Johnson County Board of Supervisors to recognize and thank community organizations that receive county funds.

For fiscal year 2018, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors allocated more than $2.25 million through various grant and fund allocation processes to more than three dozen community partners, including social services organizations, libraries, and economic development groups. The Board directed additional funds to address food insecurity and, for the second year, the Board also committed $600,000 to address critical affordable housing needs.

Unlike many grant programs, county funding can be used by organizations for critical operating expenses, helping build financial stability. In addition, county funds can be used to leverage additional money from federal, state or private resources.

*Urban Wildlife
         It has become a bit of a joke between myself and Brad Freidhof of Johnson County Conservation, but I have a lot of wildlife at my house! (Brad suggests a Conservation Easement!) You might think that is no big deal, but I live right in the middle of Iowa City!

Of course we have the ubiquitous urban wildlife: squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, raccoons, sparrows, and mourning doves. We also have had several visits from animals that are a bit more rare in the urban areas: deer, opossums, moles, cardinals, blue jays, hawks, barred owls, and honey bees.

But what have really struck me are our visits from mink. I grew up in the country, and spent many, many hours in the woods and in the creek. Despite that experience, other than those caught by trappers, I had never seen a mink in the wild. Until they began showing up in my yard!

A couple things about all this urban wildlife: First, these are wild animals. Leave them alone and keep your distance. Secondly, while it is cool to see them in town, it could well mean that their previous habitat has been disturbed. We must protect it! Finally, this serves as a great reminder that nature is all around us!

*Kmart Closing
         I was extremely disappointed to hear that the Iowa City Kmart is closing. I sincerely hope the Iowa City Council can find a similar business to take its’ place.

         That area of town desperately needs a department store. It is critically important to the economy and quality of life for the SE side of Iowa City. Yes, we are moving to an Amazon economy. But I still believe that if people have to drive 5 miles or more to buy the type of basics Kmart offered, they may simply choose to live somewhere else.

Selfishly, I will miss this Kmart for several reasons. It is the closest place to my house to buy many items. What’s more, I have been going to that Kmart since I was a young child. It is just one of those things I take for granted. Or it was.

*Dad’s Phone Number
         I had a really interesting thing happen the other day, and it has been on my mind ever since. I want to see if others have had similar experiences.

         I was at a Building Trades meeting, and the gentleman from the Laborer’s Union handed me his business card. I glanced at the card, saw his phone number, and was overcome by a flood of emotions.

You see, my father had worked for Laborer’s Local 43 in Cedar Rapids for over 30 years. As it turns out, they still have the same phone number. The number I called when I was 4 and just wanted to talk to my Dad. The number I called when I was 16 and wanted to borrow the car. The number I called when I was 23 and wanted to talk about the Hawkeyes. The number I called until almost the day he died when I was 31.

         I was shocked, frankly, by the emotions that came back from simply seeing that phone number. Obviously, it is still on my mind. Anyone else out there ever experience anything similar?

*DID YOU KNOW?  Laborer’s Local 43 has just under 500 dues paying members in Eastern Iowa.

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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