Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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June 21, 2018

Sullivan’s Salvos     6/26/18

In this edition:

*Seeking Asylum
*Census Data and Welcoming Communities
*Veteran’s Memorial Expansion
*A Measure of Character
*Did You Know?

*Seeking Asylum
         Let’s be very clear: seeking asylum is NOT illegal! This is a time-honored tradition. People seeking asylum show up begging for mercy.

*Census Data and Welcoming Communities
If you followed the last Legislative Session, you know that Johnson County was very much at odds with the Iowa Legislature regarding issues of race, ethnicity, immigration, religion, etc. Some of this can be chalked up to politics, of course. But some of this is because we simply look different than most of Iowa.

People who wonder why Johnson County has been so concerned about being viewed as a welcoming community should consider these statistics:

*43 counties have less people than Johnson County has seniors.

*31 counties have less people than Johnson County has African Americans.

*24 counties have less people than Johnson County has Asian Americans.

*17 counties have less people than Johnson County has Latinx Americans.

*14 counties have less people than Johnson County has people with disabilities (under age 65).

By Iowa standards, our population is very large, and it is growing much larger at a very rapid pace. It is also very diverse, and growing more diverse at a very rapid pace. 

There are downsides, of course. For example, only 24 counties have a population greater than the number of Johnson County residents (25,500) who live in poverty. We have our problems. But I wouldn’t trade places with any other county!

Independence Day is just around the corner. As you prepare for your holiday celebrations, make sure to familiarize yourself with fireworks laws in Johnson County. 

It is illegal to set off fireworks anywhere in unincorporated areas of Johnson County without a permit. Any person intending to set off certain fireworks in the unincorporated areas of Johnson County must obtain a permit from the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. A completed application should be provided to the Board of Supervisors Office at least 14 days before the anticipated display. 

“Last year the Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement responded to hundreds of complaints about fireworks,” Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek said. “This is a large demand on our resources and pulls us away from other more important duties. I am hopeful that after a year the public will be better educated on the legal and appropriate use of fireworks in Johnson County.” 

Fireworks displays, sales or storage within the limits of an incorporated municipality are governed by the ordinances of that city, not the Board of Supervisors. Contact the appropriate city hall or fire department for questions. Johnson County incorporated municipalities include Coralville, Iowa City, Hills, Lone Tree, North Liberty, Oxford, Shueyville, Solon, Swisher, Tiffin and University Heights. 

Applications for a fireworks permit and more information are available at Questions regarding fireworks display permits for unincorporated areas of Johnson County can be directed to the Johnson County Board of Supervisors Office at 319-356-6000 or Questions regarding fireworks sales and storage in unincorporated parts of Johnson County can be directed to Johnson County Planning, Development and Sustainability at 319-356-6083 or 

*Veteran’s Memorial Expansion
The Johnson County Commission of Veterans Affairs has launched a campaign, Pave the Way: Operation Expand Memorial, to expand the current Johnson County Armory and Veterans Memorial and continue to honor veterans. 

The Johnson County Armory and Veterans Memorial was installed in August 2013 at the site of the old Armory, near the Johnson County Administration Building, located at 913 S. Dubuque Street in Iowa City. The memorial serves as a permanent place of honor for families, friends and community members to visit and reflect, and to remember those who served our country. The memorial features a centerpiece of paver bricks engraved with the names of veterans and supporters. An interactive kiosk located at the memorial maps the location of bricks and a link to the honoree’s biography. 

Operation Expand Memorial will add two raised brick beds for additional engraved memorial bricks and a brick path around the existing memorial structure using repurposed bricks from the Iowa City Pedestrian Mall. Engraved memorial bricks may be reserved for $100 each. Veterans do not need to be Johnson County residents to be honored with a brick. 

An order form, as well as information about the expansion, veteran biographies and the history of the memorial are available at

The Armory, constructed in 1937, was destroyed during the 2008 floods. The memorial was created not only to honor Johnson County veterans and supporters, but also to educate the public on the history of the Armory. It incorporates the Armory’s original cornerstone, reproductions of the concrete medallions from the Armory depicting the crest of each unit stationed there at the time of its construction, and two interpretive signage panels with the Armory’s history in text and photographs. 

The Johnson County Commission of Veterans Affairs assists County residents who served in the U.S. Armed Forces, their relatives, beneficiaries, and dependents in receiving aid and benefits to which they may be entitled. The Commission also provides temporary emergency financial assistance to honorably discharged Johnson County veterans who meet eligibility criteria. 

The Johnson County Veterans Affairs office is located in the Health and Human Services Building, 855 South Dubuque Street, Suite 109C, Iowa City, and can be reached at 319-356-6049 or 

*A Measure of Character
Below is a quote for the ages – even truer today than it was in 1800:

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832, German novelist and philosopher

*DID YOU KNOW? The War with the most US combat deaths was the Civil War, with about 700,000 dead. (This does not include civilian deaths.) World War II is a distant second at 400,000.

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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