Janelle Rettig resigns from Johnson County Board of Supervisors

A member of the board since 2009, Rettig said raising the minimum wage and strengthening financial policies were among the achievements she’s proud of.


David Harmantas

Johnson County Board of Supervisors Member Janelle Rettig watches election returns during an election night watch party at Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

Caleb McCullough, Managing Editor

Johnson County Supervisor Janelle Rettig resigned from the Board of Supervisors on Sunday after 11 years on the board.

Rettig was first appointed to the board in 2009, and won a 2010 special election to secure her seat, handily winning reelection in the 2010 general, 2014, and 2018 elections.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Rettig said she wasn’t planning on running for reelection when her term is up in 2022, but decided over the last year to resign early.

“With a lot of thought and discussion over the last year, I decided it was best to move on as soon as the COVID disaster was concluding,” Rettig wrote in the post.

Rettig also cited health concerns as a reason for her leaving the board, saying that she experiences headaches and aches related to Lyme disease.

Rettig did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the post, Rettig listed raising the minimum wage, increasing trails and infrastructure, and strengthening financial policies as achievements she’s proud of during her tenure.

In 2015, Johnson County set its local minimum wage above the state minimum with a plan to bump it up to $10.10 over the next few years. In 2017, former Gov. Terry Branstad signed a law barring counties and cities from setting a higher minimum wage than the state, but Johnson County still maintains a “symbolic” minimum wage, now at $10.75.

It has been a great honor to serve the People of Johnson County and work with our many great partnering Cities and agencies,” Rettig wrote. “The County is stronger because of great partners.”

Under Iowa law, a committee made up of county officers can fill a Board of Supervisors vacancy by appointment within 40 days of the vacancy, or by special election. If the vacancy is filled by an appointment, residents can petition to hold a special election to fill the seat.

Pat Heiden, chair of the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, said in an interview with The Daily Iowan that Rettig’s announcement came as a surprise. Heiden said Rettig and the previous board members in the past ten years have a strong policy record that has improved the county.

“She and the boards that came before me have really made a significant difference in the quality of life here in Johnson County,” Heiden said. “So thank her for her service and wish her good health and happiness going forward.”