Previous month:
December 2009
Next month:
February 2010

January 2010

Be learned AND virtuous

"[A] good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life. It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous." -- George Washington, letter to Steptoe Washington, 1790

How much you pay county supervisors to mislead you

Sullivan stated that the Board of Supervisors was looking for a commitment to have the special tax levy remain at .77 per $1,000. -- Supervisor Rodney Sullivan, Meeting Minutes, JECC Policy Board, Friday, November 7, 2008.

"The $2 million should be there somewhere, but we don't know what is there, how much or can we utilize it." ~ Supervisor Pat Harney, replying to inquiries about the status of $2 million taxpayer dollars that were supposedly set aside for operational expenses for the Johnson County Emergency Communications Center, January 2010.

Supervisor Salary
Pat Harney $51,017
Terrance Neuzil $51,017
Janelle Rettig $51,017
Sally Stutsman $51,017
Rodney Sullivan $51,017
Total annual taxpayer expenditure:     $255,085

And Supervisors are considering approving themselves another pay raise as part of the fiscal 2011 budget.  Even though only 1.4%, still it comes at a time when people in the real world are facing decreases in salary, cutbacks, layoffs, and job loss.

Dear Johnson County Resident

You've probably read, watched, or heard of the flap over the special tax levy for the Johnson County Emergency Communications Center (JECC).  You are witness to a painfully transparent attempt to spin a tale far different from what is documented in county meeting minutes and the reality that supervisors had no business pretending to be upset with JECC management.

As Supervisors Terrance Neuzil, Rodney Sullivan, and Janelle Rettig have dragged our county in the wrong direction by pushing their elitist government-knows-best policies, Johnson County residents have realized that their so-called leadership is something they don't want.

We have seen a year of ethically challenged supervisors, low-road attempts to spin the JECC issue, back room deals with special interests, and county government's blatant attempt to continue binge spending on the backs of residents.

The good people of Johnson County are telling supervisors and members of the local Democrat machine to hit the brakes on their binge spending and government-run progressive experiments in providing *services* - but they arrogantly refuse to listen.

It is clear that current county leadership has completely failed to practice responsibility and demonstrate respect to ALL residents.

The people of Johnson County demand honorable and responsive government.  We deserve a stronger local economy free of excessive government intervention and taxation.  It is up to us to make sure that happens.  Tell others about the Coralville Courier and help us end the Democrat's stranglehold on this county.

Thank you,

Mike Thayer

Publisher, Coralville Courier

A Conservative View Toward Public Policy and the Political Process

By John Hendrickson

“What is conservatism? Is it not preference for the old and tried, over the new and untried,” stated Abraham Lincoln? The conservative view of public policy has always been to examine issues and policies based on prudence with respect for the Constitution. Senator Robert A. Taft stated that “while I am willing and ready to consider changes, I want to be darned sure — darned sure — that they are really better than what we have.”

In the twentieth century conservatives have defended the constitutional principles of limited government and economic liberty against progressivism and modern liberalism. As Constitutional scholar Matthew Spalding recently wrote in a Heritage Foundation commentary: “Progressive thinkers sought to‘re-found’ America according to ideas alien to Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Madison. Repudiating the Founders’ belief in the existence of self-evident truths, Progressives asserted that there are no truths, only relative values. Similarly, they claimed, man enjoys no permanent rights endowed by God, only changing rights held at the indulgence of government. Thus, lacking eternal truths and rights, Americans must be governed by a ‘living’ Constitution, one that endlessly ‘evolves’ and ‘grows’ with the times.”

Conservatives argue that the principles of the American Founding are permanent. In 1937 Ogden Mills, former Secretary of the Treasury under President Herbert Hoover, wrote that the principles of the American Founding “are as valid today as when first proclaimed; and that our written Constitution, our federal form of government and our system of checks and balances are sufficiently flexible to meet new conditions and new needs.” As Senator Barry Goldwater argued: “the challenge is not to find new or different truths, but to learn how to apply established truths to the problems of the contemporary world.”  Goldwater argued that “to suggest that the conservative philosophy is out of date” is similar to arguing that the Ten Commandments are out of date.

President Barack Obama and Democrat leaders are building upon the progressive legacy — a legacy that originated in the late 19th century and continued through the presidential administrations of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson.  President Obama’s reform agenda has centered on expanding the regulatory state over the economy, pursuing universal health care, radical environmental policy reform, and using Keynesian economics (stimulus spending) to bring the nation out of recession. The Administration is even proposing a new bank tax and it does not appear that the Bush tax cuts will be extended.

These policy ideas are rooted in the progressive idea that limited government and economic liberty cannot effectively govern a modern society. Change has also become a popular word in the Administration. Conservatives understand that change is inevitable, but as Russell Kirk wrote: “the conservative, in short, favors reasoned and temperate progress; he is opposed to the cult of Progress, whose votaries believe that everything new necessarily is superior to everything old.”

Prudence needs to be brought back into the public policy process. As General Douglas MacArthur wrote: “Change should not be made for the sake of change alone. It should be sought only to adopt time- tested principles which have been proven in the crucible of human experience to the new requirements of an expanding society.”

The historic election of Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) has put a hold on the President’s reform agenda. Policymakers must have a restored faith in the principles of the American Founding — that means returning to limited-government policies that reduce government spending and call for across-the-board tax cuts to encourage job creation and economic expansion.

Conservatives must rally the nation in the defense of the Constitution, but also as William F. Buckley, Jr., wrote to “stand athwart history yelling stop” to policies that undermine constitutional government and our Judeo-Christian heritage.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Public Interest Institute.  They are brought to you in the interest of a better informed citizenry.

John Hendrickson is a Research Analyst with the Public Interest Institute in Mount Pleasant, IA. 

Web site:

Supervisor Rodney Sullivan throws comrades under bus over JECC issue

Trying to cover his political butt and appeasing the current political environment with a facade of fiscal conservatism, Rodney Sullivan has thrown some of his liberal comrades under the bus.

At issue:  The budget for the Joint Emergency Communications Center (JECC) and a proposed tax hike by the policy board which manages the center.

Sullivan threw people under the bus (as is his habit when the Democrat boat is taking on water) by writing the following on his blog, Sullivan's Salvos

"Who has been responsible for these decisions? Tom Salm, Mayor of North Liberty; Mike Wright and Regenia Bailey, Iowa City Council; Pat Harney, Johnson County Board of Supervisors; Dave Wilson, Emergency Management. All of the above are elected officials except Wilson, who is appointed by a 28E Board similar to the JECC Board. In addition, John Lundell, Coralville City Council, is a new member. Unfortunately, all his votes in his one meeting were for greater spending and greater bureaucracy."

Sullivan is being extremely disengenous.  He lists all these "egregious" items he claims the JECC policy board is guilty of doing on his blog entry of today, 1/26/2010.  Question for Rodney, You provide detailed examples of what you claim is poor decision making by others, details demonstrating your obvious long-term knowledge of events/incidents by the way, AND YOU'RE JUST NOW BRINGING IT TO OUR ATTENTION?  

Hmmm, seems more like Sullivan felt the heat building in the kitchen, so he decided to get the heck out.  He helped start the fire, but damn if he'll put it out!  He's been to policy board meetings, he's discussed the JECC budget and its development multiple times since the JECC was first proposed in 2005, he's done it at policy board meetings, he's done it at supervisor meetings, he's done it at joint government meetings.  He's on record at urging the policy board to keep their special levy increase at or under 77 cents per $1,000 of property valuation since 2008.  He's been privy to detailed knowledge about how much taxpayer money has been allocated to building construction, how much is to be spent on equipment purchases, how much is to go to operations management.  He hasn't said boo about unjustified tech support......  Until now....

What does Sullivan really know and when did he know it?  He's either intentionally misinforming us or he's just inept.  Either case is bad for Johnson County residents.

Sullivan suddenly becoming a fiscal conservative overnight is a joke!  His track record betrays his behavior of the last few days. Truth be told, he's shamelessly trying to cover his political butt!  He's acting like a typical progressive in pointing his finger of blame at everyone else when he should be looking in the mirror.  Sullivan doesn't know how to man up.

Rodney throws out lame excuse making when he wrote: "The finances of the JECC are completely out of control. And there is nothing the Board of Supervisors can do to stop it. We are contractually obligated to accept the number they put forth."

Who approved the contract Rodney?

Can you say, "Inept Supervisors?" Yes, yes you can....

Contact Rodney and give him your two cents, but be careful, he might respond with "F___ YOU!", or threaten you with physical violence. 

Contact information provided on his website:  PH:  354-7199 or


Yummy Potato Leek Soup

Filiz_thayer By Filiz Thayer

This is a comfort food great on a chilly winter night!

1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. garlic, minced
4 leeks, cleaned, chopped
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup onions, chopped
3 cups potatoes, peeled, diced
2 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup cream
4-1/2 cups of chicken stock

Heat unsalted butter in a large soup pot, add 1/2 of the chopped leeks, celery, onion and garlic.  Cook for about five minutes, until the onions are translucent.  Add the flour and cook for another five minutes.  Add the chicken stock while stirring constantly with a wisk.  Add the bay leaf, pepper and oregano.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, stir occasionally.  Add potatoes to your pot, simmer for another 20 minutes.  Remove bay leaf and then in a separate pan, saute' the rest of your leeks in olive oil until tender, about five minutes.  Add the cream and your saute'ed leeks to the soup, stir, bowl up and enjoy with a nice piece of your favorite bread!