Lisa Green-Douglass elected Johnson County Board of Supervisors chair

Having previously been chair in 2019, Green-Douglass reflected on how the past four-years have given her more experience to best serve the county.


Megan Nagorzanski

Johnson County Board of Supervisor Chairwoman Lisa Green-Douglass votes on the second reading of the Unified Development Ordinance at the Johnson County Treasurer office on Thursday December 12, 2019.

Alejandro Rojas, News Reporter

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors elected Supervisor Lisa Green-Douglass as chair and Rod Sullivan as vice chair Jan. 3 for 2023.

This will be Green-Douglass’ second time as chair, having previously served in the position in 2019.

She takes over from Royceann Porter after Green-Douglass served as vice chair during this time.

In an interview with The Daily Iowan, Green-Douglass said she is glad to have more years to gain experience as chair for the second time. Green-Douglass was a chair in 2019.

“It’s just a matter of kind of a comfort level, of being more aware of things. Just four more years of experience and connecting with people, of knowing what is likely coming down the pike next,” she said.

Green-Douglass has served on the Board of Supervisors since 2016 after winning a special election to fill a seat left after a resignation. She was most recently reelected in 2020, with her term ending in 2024.

She is a University of Iowa alum, holds a doctorate in Spanish, and taught at the university for 11 years.

The chair position works slightly differently compared to the regular supervisors, as the chair is elected by the supervisors, who select from the current sitting supervisors.

The supervisors, who select a new chair each year, traditionally pick the current vice chair as the next chair. However, the supervisors are not required to select the vice chair as chair, although they have done so for years.

Vice-Chair Sullivan said the process is different from county to county.

“What we have always done is just basically rotate it, but you still have an election. Otherwise, for the most part, dating back a long, long time, everybody just gets their turn,” Sullivan said. “Some counties have had one person serve as chair for 20 years, and others just have one political party, and others just have a kind of a contested election every time. We’ve just chosen to rotate it.”

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Green-Douglass said the chair has more work that is unique to the role.

“We have a Friday morning conference call, and that’s an extra duty that we have, and then we set the agendas. And then the board, chair, and vice chair can do various assignments external to the county, but other boards and commissions that it tends to fall through the vice chair,” she said.

Green-Douglass said another duty specific to the chair is signing things for the board, including contracts and letters. She also explained in the event of an emergency, she would be responsible for signing letters of evacuation, emergency closures, or anything related to those topics.

Supervisor Jon Green, who was reelected in the November election, said he supports the rotation of chairperson since it gives each supervisor a chance to be chair.

“I just appreciate the fact that we take our turns, and everyone has the opportunity to, assuming we’re on the board long enough, to take a shot at it. I [also] appreciate that they’re doing it because it’s not like either of them get paid any more, but it is substantially more work. I appreciate their dedication and time to do that,” Green said.

Supervisor V Fixmer-Oraiz, who was elected in the November election, said they are excited to be working under Green-Douglass and Sullivan.

“I think supervisor Green-Douglass and supervisor Sullivan are outstanding supervisors that really work hard to make sure that Johnson County residents are served to the best of their ability, and I really look forward to their leadership,” Fixmer-Oraiz said. “I really appreciate that they both have open door policies, and I have really benefited greatly, even in this last week and a half, from their experience.”