116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Jammie Bradshaw, 36, of Lone Tree, is a Republican candidate seeking one of two seats on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors in the Nov. 8 general election. Bradshaw has not previously held elected office.
The Gazette posed a set of questions to Johnson County Supervisor candidates. Below is the transcript of Bradshaw’s answers. Polls will be open on election day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
What do you think are the three most important issues the county is facing? What would you do to address them?
Bradshaw: When I think of areas that Johnson County needs improvement I think of the fact that the people don't feel heard, the high property taxes, and the need for public service to be viewed as a service and not just another job. I believe that in order to make Johnson County the best it can be we need to work on lowering property taxes in the county. This would make it more affordable to live and work in the county. To give people a voice in the county meeting need to be held not just at Iowa City but across the county and at different times along with supervisors being more accessible. Public service should be the main reason to work as a supervisor, as such the supervisors should work more in the community and should not make more than the median income of the county.
Do you support the use of eminent domain for CO2 pipelines? Why or why not?
Bradshaw: I am not a specialist on eminent domain, what I am good at though is listening to the people of the county. People like Wayne Grell, a candidate for Iowa House District 85, who has been directly effected by eminent domain. I understand that there are times when eminent domain is going to occur, however this process needs to be streamlined and completed in a manner that is not going to be as devastating to the families that are affected. Not only does it need to streamlined, but it needs to be done in a safe manner for the entire county. This means that there needs to be strict testing and safety measures in place. We need to make sure that by doing the pipeline we are not harming the environment and the community. If we want what is best for Johnson County then we must demand the best.
If you’re forced to cut the county’s budget, where do you look for savings? Why?
Bradshaw: Supervisor's Paycheck. Because it is my job as a supervisor it is my job to look out for my constituents before myself. So that means if there is a budget cut that needs to be made it is my duty to look at cutting my own budget before cutting others. That is part of putting the service back into public service.
How would you assess the long-term planning and vision of the county? Are there areas that you think should be planned for?
Bradshaw: First thing I would start by doing is listening to the people of the county to find what areas they believe needs the most attention. I would start building a list of priority based on what areas concern the county the most. The areas that I foresee needing to be planned for would be within the infrastructure of the county to accommodate for things like electric vehicles.
What should the county's role be when it comes to affordable housing programs? Should there be additional partnerships with cities or other organizations? What other programs could the county implement to assist residents in need?
Bradshaw: I believe that affordable housing is a right that everyone in the county deserves. However, I think that the approach should be different. Johnson County has several building and older homes that are unoccupied. Instead of tearing down these building to build cookie cutter homes, I think we should give our citizens an opportunity to work for their own home. Each building or home would be rehabbed with the oversight of a licensed professional. The future owners would work on this home and learn a skill that they other wise would not have. Once the home is up to code and safe for inhabitants then they would move in. The material would be provided in a partnership with companies to help promote Johnson County. This reduces the footprint, teaches new skills, and promotes homeownership.
Does Johnson County need a new jail? Why or why not? If yes, should the county consider a multi-county facility? Why or why not?
Bradshaw: I would support either a new jail facility or updating the current jail. Just like the police the corrections facility helps to keep the community. Not only does this protect the community but inmates are humans and as such deserve to be treated as such. The inmates deserve to be in a facility that is clean and safe. This will in turn help to promote a good rehabilitation program and inmates can come out as productive members of society.
How should the county approach balancing the needs of urban and rural residents?
Bradshaw: The rural residents of Johnson County have felt that they are not being represented for far too long. Johnson County is unique in that it is a rural and urban combination county. This means that we need the combination of rural representatives and urban representatives. Having a supervisor from the rural part of Johnson County would provide that aspect of representation and bring that perspective to the discussion table. Also, working closer with a farmer.
Earlier this year, the Board of Supervisors rejected the Sheriff’s request for a smaller armored vehicle. Sheriff Brad Kunkel has previously said he would not negotiate the need for an armored vehicle but would get rid of the MRAP if the smaller BearCat was purchased. What is your opinion of the need of these armored vehicles in Johnson County? Would you support a request for a smaller armored vehicle, why or why not?
Bradshaw: As a resident of Johnson County, I do not believe that there is a need for an armored vehicle. Johnson County has a low rate crime rate with it being in the 87th percentile of Iowa, meaning 87 counties are more dangerous in Iowa. With that in mind I do believe in supporting our local law enforcement. I would encourage and support a request for the most up to date personal protective gear for every officer. This not only protects our law enforcement officers but also protects our community. To often we forget that our officers are part of our community, they live in Johnson County just like the rest of us and need our support.
What do you see as next steps for mental health services in Johnson County? What should the county do to continue providing resources and encourage them to seek those services?
Bradshaw: I think that we should always look at what we can do to make the availability of mental health specialist. We should also look into why these issues are arising. I believe there is always more that can be done for the mental health of the county. One such thing would be to have a mentorship program to encourage others to help each other. By building each other up we are in fact building a stronger Johnson County.