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Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | MAY 16, 2014 5:00 AM

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Johnson County is predicted to continue to grow, and we need to manage that growth in a way that is sustainable for our environment and our economy to continue to be the desirable type of place to live that we enjoy today.

For 15 years, I have worked as an environmental lobbyist for renewable energy and sustainable growth at the local, state, and national level for the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, Iowa Renewable Energy, and other groups.  Now, I want to put that experience to work in county government to create sustainable environmental and economic policies for our future. 

I am the only candidate for Johnson County supervisor who wants to protect farmland in the North Corridor Development Area from residential development. My opponents would rather plant houses there than crops.

The County Land Use Plan has an internal contradiction. The plan states that two of its highest priorities are to preserve agricultural land and to encourage growth in cities through infill development. But when residential development is allowed in the large North Corridor Development Area, those two priorities are violated and fail to meet our goals.

The county should shrink or eliminate the North Corridor Development Area. New growth areas should be drawn one-half mile around city boundaries. A moratorium on new rezonings should be implemented while the existing 1,600 ready-to-build lots (800 in the North Corridor Development Area) are consumed.  The county should use this time to consider a more sustainable direction for rural residential development. Preserving the agricultural areas of our county will bring greater prosperity for all residents of the county.

Johnson County should devote additional support to farmers growing and selling food locally through opening the County Farm to new produce farmers to get them started. The county needs to review its ordinances to allow small produce farms.

The county needs to update our Courthouse to make it safe and accessible for all users. The reorganization of mental-health services from the state has left our local support services needing more funding, and I will fight for that. Johnson County is losing millions of dollars a year in tax base to TIFs. I will be a strong advocate for TIF reform to bring that revenue back to the county coffers.

If you want to save all our farms and scenic areas from residential development, walk with me into a sustainable future and vote for me in the June 3 Democratic primary election.

Mike Carberry
Democratic candidate for Johnson County supervisor


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