I appreciate the efforts that were made to create the environment for a special Johnson County board of supervisors election, as I support transparency and openness where government is concerned. However, I have to admit when I learned from the Daily Iowan that proponents for the special election were giving out lollipops as a reward for signatures, I found it hugely hysterical. It reminded me of when George Etre was running for Iowa City City Council and he was giving free drinks away to sign his petition to qualify. It kind of dilutes the message when it appears that a "token" is given for something that really shouldn't need any encouragement. I found it particularly tickling to then hear that many of these same students have no plans to vote in the special election. How mercenary is that?
As for the next steps regarding the county supervisor race, each political party will nominate one candidate for the election; and any additional independent candidates would have to garner 250 signatures on a petition to be on the ballot. It is my sincere hope that if anyone who feels their viewpoint is not addressed by either party will go solicit the 250 signatures. Because at the end of the day, the real argument is not whether we have a Democrat or a Republican representing us, but whether we have people with good ideas willing to commit their time to do the job.
For the record, I feel like Jannelle Rettig is a good choice and I think a special election will reiterate this. However, the value of elections, beyond who is running for offices, is the free flow of ideas about what citizens believe their government and communities priorities ought to be and for the offering of solutions to address the problems that concern us all.