Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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August 30, 2018

Sullivan’s Salvos     9/4/18

In this edition:

*Lone Tree Reporter
*Boards and Commissions
*A Remarkable Statistic
*Reynolds’ Record
*Did You Know?

*Lone Tree Reporter
         We have a crisis of democracy in Lone Tree. A year or two ago, the Kalona News took over the Lone Tree Reporter. They said nothing would change. Instead, they put a quarter page or half page of Lone Tree news in the Kalona News.

         Well, fast forward two years, and the Kalona News has fired their only Lone Tree reporter. No one is scheduled to cover the Lone Tree School Board, and no one is scheduled to cover the Lone Tree City Council. So how are residents of Lone Tree supposed to know what is going on?

         This is serious, folks. The only way government works is if the voting public is informed. There is a crisis brewing in Lone Tree. I hope they can find a way to get through this.

*Boards and Commissions
The Johnson County Board of Supervisors is seeking volunteers to serve on various County boards and commissions. Board and commission members serve in an advisory role to help direct policy by making suggestions and recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and County staff.

Vacancies are available on the following Johnson County boards and commissions:
  • Board of Health 
  • Compensation Commission 
  • Conservation Board 
  • Historic Preservation Commission 
  • Planning and Zoning Commission 
  • Zoning Board of Adjustment

Information about specific boards and commissions, vacancies and application forms are available on the Committee/Board Openings webpage of the Johnson County website at <> and in the office of the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, second floor of the Johnson County Administration Building, 913 S. Dubuque Street, Iowa City.

Completed applications must be returned to the Board of Supervisors Office by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. 

*A Remarkable Statistic
         I just heard a remarkable statistic: 51 US Senators now represent 18% of the US population. Due to demographic changes, an undemocratic institution becomes even more undemocratic. 

*Reynolds’ Record
Governor Reynolds’ website lists 4 campaign goals. Let’s review how she has fared in each area. (Remember – Reynolds has enjoyed the “trifecta” in State Government. She has chosen not to negotiate with Democrats on anything – she owns all of this.)

1. Create good paying jobs.While unemployment remains low, regular Iowans are not seeing gains. Governor Reynolds has actually taken several concrete steps designed to keep Iowa’s wages low. She repealed the minimum wages that had already passed in 5 Iowa Counties. She decimated collective bargaining rights. She has overseen a huge cut in State government jobs. Add it all up, and Governor Reynolds has actually made it harder for working Iowans to get ahead. Wage growth in Iowa lags behind all our neighboring states. Job growth is almost exclusively in low wage occupations. Her policies are serving to keep Iowa a low wage state. Grade: Doing the exact opposite of what she claims. F.

2. Cut taxes.This is the most honest plank in the Governor’s platform. She has cut taxes, and wants to cut more. Unfortunately, her tax cuts have only benefitted wealthy Iowans, while leaving average Iowans with the tab.
The report, “The Increasingly Unequal States of America,” found that while Iowa’s top 1 percent gained almost 40 percent in income from 2009 to 2012, incomes of the bottom 99 percent grew only 2.8 percent.That trend continues. Business tax credits have increased $100 million over the past decade, but Iowans do not have higher wages to show for it. Instead, our state budget is a mess. Grade: At least she is honest here. But tax cuts have hurt, not helped. F.

3. Invest in schools.For FY2018, lawmakers set the SSA percentage at its second-lowest level in 15 years: 1.11 percent. SSA is on a downward trend — from 4 percent from FY2006-10 to a 1.8 percent average over the last eight years. Funding for Iowa’s schools is not keeping up with inflation. Iowa’s schools are headed the wrong direction, and Kim Reynolds has led us there. Reynolds likes to twist some numbers to pretend Iowa’s investment in education is significant. It is not. The SSA percentage tells you all you need to know. Grade: It could be worse. But not much. D.

4. Increase opportunity in all of Iowa.The really concerning areas of Iowa are our “micropolitan” regions. These are cities of less than 50,000 that still serve as centers for health care, education, retail, and employment. And in Iowa, our micropolitan areas are struggling mightily!
Ottumwa, Mason City, Clinton, Fort Dodge, Burlington… you know the places we are talking about. These are places that supported the agriculture of the region, and provided lots of good paying union jobs. This was the home to the American Dream for almost 40 years.
Fast forward to today, and the ag industry has mechanized. A family farm used to be 160 acres, and provided a living for 2-3 generations at once. Now a small farm is over 1000 acres, and that really isn’t enough to support a single farmer. As those farm jobs have left, so have the people.
Things are even worse for the folks who held the union jobs. Those jobs are gone – some replaced by $9/hour service jobs, others not replaced at all. The retail jobs followed suit – shoppers chose to abandon the town square for the big boxes on the edge of town. Downtowns shriveled, and now Amazon has emptied out the big boxes. It is a grim scenario, and the people of Iowa’s micropolitan areas have lived it. These areas suffer from a $4.16/hour gap in wages between them and our metro areas. Grade: This is bad and getting worse under Reynolds. Grade: F.

That is three Fs and a D. And remember - we focused on the issues Governor Reynolds WANTS to discuss. It is also important to note the things Governor Reynolds does NOT want to discuss: health care, mental health care, women’s health care, Medicaid privatization, water quality, the budget, and all the scandals of her administration. To top it off, the press is giving her a free pass on the sordid affairs of her past.

Even if you grade the Governor on the topics of her own choice, she gets a failing grade.

*DID YOU KNOW? Governor Reynolds’ “Apple Deal” gave the richest company in the world $20 million in tax credits for only 50 permanent jobs. 

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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