Gazette endorsements for Johnson County Board of Supervisors and County Attorney

Janelle Rettig, of Iowa City, Johnson County supervisor
Janelle Rettig, of Iowa City, Johnson County supervisor

Two at-large seats are at stake on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, as well as the County Attorney.




Despite the ballot allowing for the selection of two candidates, our decision was not easy. Each of the four contenders brings distinct professional and personal experiences, which would serve the county well. Our decision ultimately hinges on the candidates’ current readiness for the job, ability to read the tea leaves and proven negotiation skills.

Rettig, an incumbent, has the most understanding of the job (as she should) and the future needs facing the county. She has earned another stint on the board because of her thoughtful consideration of issues, dedication to the county and region and continued willingness to expand her knowledge base to better serve county residents.

Carberry, who has extensive knowledge on environmental issues, is no stranger to confrontation or compromise. As such, he would be a strong advocate for Johnson County on a regional and state level. Although he would join a body already comprised of strong personalities, there is no danger of the existing convictions drowning out Carberry’s own. We believe he would stand his ground on issues, such as transportation and rural development, to the benefit of the entire region.



Of all the races we review today, this one is by far the most interesting, contentious and, ironically, the most easily decided.

We find no fault in the service Lyness has thus far provided the county, but do note room for improvement remains. Given the condition of the jail, and the unwillingness of voters to address it, existing diversion programs must be expanded and new initiatives developed.

We believe Lyness has the management and judicial experience to address the troubling issue of racial disparities, and we encourage her to claim an expanded leadership role by establishing a task force.

Challenger John Zimmerman has well-intentioned ideas about arrest standards and disparity issues, but wants to stretch the law too far. He also lacks the experience to run the county attorney’s office.

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