Janelle Rettig announced March 18 she would run for re-election to a third term on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors.
Rettig will face incumbent supervisor Mike Carberry and Democratic Central Committee member Pat Heiden in the June 5 primary election for two board seats.
“In the eight years I have been a supervisor we have a long list of accomplishments,” Rettig said in an email. “We have lowered the countywide levy while undertaking significant projects. Progressive accomplishments and financial responsibility are my driving causes.”
Rettig is a graduate of Knox College who has lived with her spouse, Robin Butler, in Iowa City for over twenty eight years. They are involved with numerous non-profits, are activists, avid bicyclists, and ride a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. They also have a border collie named CJ.
“I think my single best contribution to the board of supervisors has been to focus on financial issues,” Rettig said. “I have led in the creation of a Finance Department, financial policies and transparency.”
While on the board, Rettig used short-term bonding to access Tax Increment Finance districts thereby reducing cost on individual property taxpayers. It allowed the county to take advantage of lower construction costs and get more road projects completed more quickly, she said.
“I spend a lot of time reviewing our financial reports and studying budget requests,” she said. “I often figure out a way to get things done without significant tax increases.”
Rettig is proud of her role on the board.
“We have built six solar projects, increased programs and funding for mental health/disability services and for those living in poverty,” she said. “We have improved our infrastructure by building roads, bridges, trails and paved shoulders, and we have invested in affordable housing — all while creating a finance department, balancing every budget, and lowering the overall county debt. In addition, we have increased sustainability, raised the minimum wage, and implemented a Community ID system.”
An important part of the board’s recent work has been the Johnson County Comprehensive Plan.
“I have been consistent with current land use plan and believe supervisors should follow the plan and not pick winners and losers based on things that are not contained in the plan,” Rettig said. “I have supported a number of amendments to the Unified Development Ordinance that I believe have made our land use plan stronger.”
“The new plan under consideration currently has some items that concern me. I’m afraid that the proposed map and matrix may lead to more political decisions and may lead to more development on higher corn sustainability rated land. I look forward to reviewing the final plan that will be recommended by (the Planning & Zoning Commission) and listening carefully to a public hearing with input from residents.”
“In the past eight years, I have worked every day to reflect the progressive values of the people of Johnson County,” she said. “None of this happens in a vacuum. It takes leadership, innovation, vision, determination, teamwork and sometimes courage.”
“My most rewarding vote was to raise the minimum wage,” Rettig said. “The vote that will have meaning long after I am gone is the vote to save the Sutliff Bridge.”
Editor’s Note: The author has endorsed Janelle Rettig for Johnson County Supervisor in the June 5 primary.