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December 2008

Rod Sullivan and his legacy

Johnson County Supervisor Rod Sullivan thinks that right after his turn at playing Chairman concludes at year's end, history will show that he did great things and made the right decisions when he was in the chairman's seat.  He is quick to point out for example that for the first time ever, the Johnson County Chair was granted the power to enact curfews. For the first time ever, the Chair was granted the power to do mandatory evacuations. 

Wow, what a legacy huh?

Pig The outgoing Chairman (thank goodness!) also provided *leadership* causing a 13.52% increase over the previous year with the fiscal 2009 budget of approximately $75 million.  Sorry Sullivan, but dramatically jumping from around $64+ million to $75 million from one year to the next is not a good thing.  And as if saddling taxpayers with a $10 million jump isn't enough, Chairman Sullivan led the charge with taxing Johnson County residents with an ADDITIONAL $20 million in the form of unspecified government land buys for unspecified uses.  Not the stuff of a good legacy.  Sullivan has acted like a pig at the taxpayer trough.

Sullivan is wrong in assuming that history will show his actions were justified and correct.  Voters should be further frustrated by the fact that the Sullivan led Supervisors failed to budget properly and now face up to an $870,000 budget shortfall according to reports.  Supervisors completely failed to anticipate declining interest *revenue* a.k.a. your tax dollars dwindling as a result of a declining economy.  An $870,000 budget shortfall is a HUGE problem!  We paid Sullivan NOT to make a boneheaded mistake like this.  OINK!

"We know revenues are going to be really flat, which is why we are working hard to keep expenses down," Sullivan said in a Press-Citizen report. 

Keep expenses down? Hell, why aren't we talking about deep cuts? Johnson County families are making deep cuts and making sacrifices, what cuts and sacrifices are county officials making? So far, we've heard little to none.

The Sullivan led supervisors failed to save for a rainy day.  They didn't put any money in reserve, none, nada, zip.  That's not leadership, that's callously spending every penny of taxpayer money.  Result?  Sullivan comes around asking for more money via higher taxes. 

Sullivan's line of thought:  We exceeded the budget?  Who cares, raise taxes!  After all, taxpayer money grows on trees right?  Oh, and we need to increase the budget for some pet projects, we'll need to raise taxes for that too.

Sullivan obviously hasn't cared to lead and properly plan a budget or prudently put some money into a reserve.  He thinks you are obligated to give him more money upon request.  That's apparent with the evidence of ballooning budgets, a growing list of pet projects, a huge budget deficit glaring us in the eyes and no reserve to fall back on.

Note that no program cut considerations have even been mentioned by Sullivan or any of his cohorts.  All we're getting is a generic, "We're trying to keep expenses down."

This is highly unacceptable leadership by Chairman Sullivan.  His tenure was expensive, expensive in unwarranted, needless fashion.  His legacy is one of dramatically higher taxes with little to show for it.

Let them eat cake!

Give him your opinion at: rsullivan@co.johnson.ia.us


ApplianceZone: The Online Appliance Parts and Accessories Superstore

CORYDON, IN. -- ApplianceZone sells thousands of appliance parts and accessories online at the absolute lowest prices. They will beat any competitors advertised price.

Jim Allen has started four companies in the appliance industry beginning in 1992 at the age of twenty-three. Appliance Repair Specialists was his first company and his foundation for future companies to come. In 2006 Jim wanted to move into the world of online e-commerce as he knew there was a huge potential for growth. In August of 2006 Appliance Parts Specialists was launched and was an immediate success! It wasn\'t long before Jim began working on an improved version of Appliance Parts Specialists, plans were under way to launch a more customer oriented and easy to use website for customers to come and find what they were looking for quickly, make their purchase, and get their parts in a short amount of time, and for the least expensive cost, this led to the creation of Appliance Zone. With the start-up of Appliance Zone in October 2008, it is expected to achieve sales of over $8 million in 2009 and doubling that in 2010, Jim believes the simple recipe to success is; offer your customers the best service possible mixed with the best price possible and you can\'t go wrong! Jim acknowledges that many new challenges await Appliance Zone in the coming years but is quite confident with his customer service team, and internet technology specialists that Appliance Zone will become the number #1 choice for consumers when it comes to repairing their own appliances At Appliance Zone you\'re covered with our Best Price Guarantee on all of our products. If you find a lower price than ours on the Internet, we will make every effort to beat the competitor\'s price. See store for details. Because of our buying power we are able to negotiate better pricing from the manufacturers and distributors, therefore we can pass the savings on to you! Our newest addition to Appliance Zone, our competitors hate it, but I guarantee you will love it! Check prices among other websites, if you find a lower price, just simply contact our products team and we will lower the price to beat our competitor\'s price. See ApplianceZone.com for details.

So, if you don\'t want to pay the big bucks to have someone come and fix your appliance, and you want the cheapest parts anywhere on the internet, give www.ApplianceZone.com a try.

ApplianceZone was started in 2008 by Jim Allen. Jim believes in putting the customers satisfaction above all else and that includes offering the best prices found anywhere.


Coralville Huhot Exceeds Expectations

If you're craving some oriental style food, visit the Huhot Mongolian Grill.  The nice thing about Huhot is that it's not your typical warming lamps and steam tables kind of buffet.  You pick up a bowl and fill it with your choice of frozen beef, chicken, pork, or shrimp, noodles, and a large assortments of raw vegetables.  Then you get to choose what kind of sauces and oil to mix with your stir fry.  Hand off your concoction to one of the chefs, watch him Mongolian Grill it up and in minutes you're sitting down to a pleasant meal.

You can mix and match your meal and it's fun for the kids.  Go with a standard Broccoli Beef, or create some spicy chicken of your own doing (doom?).  You can skip the meat and go tofu with veggies if you like, after all, in this place you're only limited by your own imagination and curiosity. 

The Coralville Huhot appears to be well managed.  The place was neat, clean, orderly, the staff all polite and energetic.  Our waiter always kept our glasses filled; asked how everything was; cleared our table of 1st round plates (2 rounds was VERY filling).  The manager stopped by to see if we enjoyed our meal.  To sum, all 'i's were dotted and 't's crossed, and done with a smile.

The Huhot is NOT your typical buffet and scores five stars!  

5_star

Huhot Mongolian Grill

www.huhot.com

917 25th Ave
Coralville, IA 52241
(319) 358-9100

How Rod Sullivan typically responds to constituents who disagree with him

A local Republican sent an email to County Supervisor and Chairman Rod Sullivan regarding his "Sullivan's Salvos" article about the "value" of taxes.  Here's the sum of that email:

Mr. Sullivan....I found your rationalization of the "value" of taxes to be void of any economic sense.  What you and the other County Supervisors should take pride in is the "value" you deliver to our county on how few dollars you need to do your job.  The fewer the dollars, the more "value" you are providing.

Here is how Supervisor Sullivan responded to that email:

----- Original Message ----- From: "Rod Sullivan" <rodsullivan@mchsi.com>
To: A Local Republican (inserted to protect voter identity)
Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2008 7:18 PM
Subject: Re: The "value" of taxes


> Dear (name taken out to protect voter identity):
>
> Clearly we disagree.
>
> Thanks for writing.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Rod Sullivan

That's proof positive folks, that Sullivan likes bigger government and higher taxes, that he has no time for people who disagree with him. 

Reference article:  Supervisor Rod Sullivan likes taxes, attempts to lay groundwork for more


County Supervisors want to spend $18,000 on another survey

According to an article in the Daily Iowan, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors is considering hiring a firm to conduct a public opinion survey for the proposed Justice Center.

The estimated cost of the survey is $18,000 and would take roughly six weeks to complete. 

$18,000 huh? 

Apparently there are no funds set aside for this, but Supervisors may take budget money away from the jail alternatives budget or the sheriff's account. 

Voters might ask, "Doesn’t that mean that something in the budget will have to be scrapped then in order to fund the survey?"  One has to wonder if either of those two - the jail alternatives or the Sheriff’s accounts - were projected to have an $18,000 surplus at year’s end (fiscal year)?  Is there that much discretionary spending or are we talking putting off equipment buys and/or delaying service needs?   

And here's a thought:  Shouldn’t county supervisors already know what the sentiment of the public is on this issue?  Isn’t it a Supervisor’s job to know?    As often as this issue and related subject matter has been in the news and for all the feedback those stories have generated, supervisors should already have a good feel for what the folks out there are thinking.  The people of Johnson County know the current jail is overcrowded.  People know far too much taxpayer money is being spent on transporting prisoners to other facilities outside the county.  People know the courthouse is no longer adequate. 

Are supervisors so out of touch with the public, that they feel they have to hire an outside firm to conduct a survey?  To borrow a saying from a redneck, "That dog don't hunt."  Think about that, Supervisors pretend to know they're on top of the issues, Chairman Rod Sullivan for example will even chide you when challenged - and so they need a survey to do their jobs for them?  Aren't they already supposed to know how the public feels about the proposed justice center issue?  The answer is yes, they are.  

So, either the supervisors are hiring a survey outfit because they’re really that out of touch with the public...... Or they're abusing $18,000 in taxpayer money so they can craft arguments based on survey responses like they did with the conservation bond survey, to find a way to *generate support* and get the issue placed on the November 2009 ballot.  Either one of those is a bad thing.

Tell Rod Sullivan to scrap the survey, if he and the other supervisors want to have one done that bad, they can fund it with their own salaries.  $18,000 divided by five supervisors comes out to $3,600 each.  Have a nice day.

rsullivan@co.johnson.ia.us

 

 


Supervisor Rod Sullivan likes taxes, attempts to lay groundwork for more

In his latest edition of "Sullivan's Salvos", Johnson County Supervisor and Chairman Rod Sullivan attempts to lay the groundwork for higher taxes. 

Why stick to a budget when you can just raise taxes right?  Money grows on trees right?

In his e-newsletter Sullivan tries to make the case regarding the "value" of taxes.  Here's a snippet:

In my continuing battle to show that taxes are not a bad thing… let’s talk about value. Value is subjective, so it can be hard to quantify. I value going to Hawkeye sporting events. Many folks would say I am crazy; it is a better value to pay for cable and watch at home. That opinion is no more or less valid than my own. There is no right or wrong.

That's Sullivan's set up, the attempt to excuse and/or otherwise justify higher taxation.  By inserting "value" into the picture, Sullivan tries to convey his belief that government - his brand of government that is - is good, and to provide you *good* government, there must be taxation.

Sullivan even gets personal with "value", citing his own property tax bill:

I live in a house valued at $162,000. I pay $2,744 annually in property taxes.

This breaks down as follows: $1,198 to the City of Iowa City. $959 to the ICCSD. $506 to Johnson County. All the rest (4 smaller levies) add up to about $80.

His piece goes on about the value of Iowa City services, the value of the Iowa City Community School District and so on......Sullivan wants to get you all wrapped up in value, so that you will overlook tax abuses, poor budget practices and excess government spending. 

That's a liberal trick called re-direct.  It's designed to take you off focus.  Off focus like how the Johnson County Board of Supervisors increased their budget by over 13% for fiscal year 2009.  How they further burdened taxpayers with things like a skywalk and a pay raise for folks like Tom Slockett.  Sullivan does not want you to realize that Supervisors most likely did not allocate enough money to fix secondary roads in 2009, one of their primary functions.  Sullivan does not want you to realize that the supes most likely did not allocate enough money to buy enough salt/sand to properly address winter road conditions this season.  Johnson County roads won't be as good as they could be in 2009, we have flooding issues, we have a weak economy, and yet Sullivan was a primary force in putting a $20 million tax hike on the general election ballot in November.  In a broader sense, the Sullivan-like re-direct style of *management* would rather not have you realize for example that the Iowa City Public Library spent $10,000.00 on video games.   If you realize that, then you might start looking under other government rocks.

It should also be noted that in all his "value" statements, Sullivan failed to cite one value pertaining to Johnson County taxation.  He is after all the Chairman of the Johnson County Supervisors.  Why didn't he proudly proclaim "value" there?

Things that make you go hmmm......

Pig Rod clearly likes bigger government and higher taxes.  Tell him that is NOT a proper role of government.  That is NOT what our Founding Fathers wanted.  He is a tax pig and you're the trough.

rodsullivan@mchsi.com