Two Johnson County Supervisors, Rod "F*&^ You" Sullivan and Terrence Neuzil have taken their disagreement with each on how to finance the proposed Justice Center, to the media. The public bickering is silly, the in-fighting is unprecedented.
It's the kind of fight you might expect from a Republican vs. a Democrat fighting over an issue, but these guys are both Democrats. Sullivan is more liberal than Neuzil, but this dogfight in the media is something new. Sure, there have been disagreements and 3-2 votes countless times in boards past. But this board is different. They can't even get to the point of taking a vote! County ordinance for rental property anyone? This is a divided board unlike any other I've seen in the years I've lived in Johnson County and I would inject that the addition of Janelle Rettig has something to do with that. This board can't seem to get along and they're all Democrats!
At issue, the proposed Justice Center, which has been needed for more than a dozen years now. As a reader aptly pointed out, Supervisors should have been saving up for this. Compounding this current problem of not having enough money for a new jail and courthouse, supervisors have been building bike trails, a bridge to nowhere and buying $20 million worth of land in the name of green space and wetlands.
Here's the battle going on in the media, you read the content accessed by the links below, you decide who is being straight-forward and who isn't looking out for you.
I know both these men personally. I've met them, shaken their hands, emailed them, talked with them on the phone, discussed/debated issues. Regular readers of the Coralville Courier know that I'm not a fan of Sullivan, not at all. Neuzil, he does some things I don't agree with, sometimes he can get snarky as can I, but I respect the guy. So when you read their articles, look at the language being used very closely. It's quite telling and know this - when a liberal Democrat accuses another person of playing politics, it's usually the other way around.
Final thought: Remember, everybody and their brother knows that a new jail and an aging courthouse has been a need to address for more than a dozen years now. So if county supervisors can plan and save up a chunk of money to put up the financing plan for a $14 million Health & Human Services Building and pay it off early (financing strategy done pre-Sullivan), then why can't they get something similar put together for the proposed Justice Center? Shucks, they've only had 12+ years to come up with something!
Neuzil's piece: County still needs more 'skin' in the Justice Center funding
Sullivan's piece: Workable compromise on Justice Center held hostage
Here's an additional link to Neuzil's piece as run on the Daily Iowan, to which Sullivan responded: