Letter to the Editor | JoCo Board of Supervisors need fiscal oversight and rural representation

JoCo Board of Supervisors candidate, Phil Hemingway, on spending and representation.


Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.

Fiscal oversight and rural representation are sadly lacking on the present Board of Supervisors. 

Anyone who looks at how the Board of Supervisors have rewarded themselves with their own compensation over the last six years, raising their salaries from $71,240 in fiscal year 2018 to $92,558 in FY23, a 29.9 percent increase, can see where their personal priorities lie. And remember this all took place during a pandemic, 40-year high inflation, and now a recession. 

They also increased their staff from three to nine and their budget has gone from $750,000/year to $1,500,000/year during this same period. This is unsustainable. 

When I first ran for supervisor in 2018, I pledged not to seek or accept a raise in compensation during my term. I stand by this pledge. Any compensation over the FY18 salary, I will donate to ag education and FFA in Johnson County. 

As an Iowa City Community School District board member, I oversaw a budget larger than the counties with three times the staff and provided the community with fiscal oversight for free as an unpaid volunteer.

The Gazette Editorial Board, in November 2018, commenting on my Iowa City Community School District board service stated:

“There simply is no other member of the School Board with his tenacity or attention to detail especially on fiscal matters.”

It is time Johnson County elected a true fiscal watchdog who is more interested in saving you money than lining his own pockets.

For decades, there has been an over-representation of urban wants over the needs of rural residents. There definitely needs to be a realignment and balancing and the recognition that living in Iowa. We are in the number one ag state in the country and a recognized leader in the world. 

We have been blessed with great natural resources in our county, and they should be preserved for future generations. We can all take pride in where we live and the great abundance we have been blessed with. Hard working rural residents need an advocate not an adversary on the Board of supervisors.

So, I seek your consideration and vote on or before Nov. 8, 2022.

  • Phil Hemingway, Candidate for Johnson County Supervisor