By Gregg Hennigan
IOWA CITY – An Iowa City woman with a history of political involvement — for Democrats and Republicans — announced on Monday her candidacy for the Johnson County Board of Supervisors.
Janelle Rettig, 44, of 110 Shrader Rd., will run as a Democrat in the June 2010 primary. She is a self-employed consultant working as the development director for the Iowa Bicycle Coalition.
She said after years of working on issues from the outside, she wanted to get directly involved in decision making.
“There are many things that I care about — the environment, human services and good government — that the Board of Supervisors have enormous influence over,” she said. “And I think that it’s time for me to move to a position of working on the issues from the inside, where you can effect the actual greatest change, or the greatest support.”
Other issues important to Rettig are promoting efficient and accountable government and diversity in the community.
Rettig was a registered Republican until about a decade ago and worked for a Republican Illinois state representative and former U.S. Rep. Jim Leach, a Republican from Eastern Iowa. She said she was a moderate, “Lincoln-Republican” and left the party over cultural differences. Rettig is pro-choice, an environmentalist and a lesbian.
She is now a registered Democrat and has served as treasurer for the campaign of state Sen. Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, and was co-chair of a committee advocating for the $20 million conservation bond Johnson County voters approved last fall.
She serves on the Iowa City Airport Commission, the county’s Compensation Board, the county’s Trails Committee and the state’s Natural Resource Commission.
Rettig and her spouse, Robin Butler, were co-owners of a small business, Alternatives, in Iowa City in the 1990s.
The supervisors election isn’t until next year, when the seats currently held by Sally Stutsman and Larry Meyers are up for election. Meyers said Monday that, at this point, he intends to seek re-election. Stutsman said it’s too early to say definitively what she will do.
Rettig said she declared now because she wanted to run a grass-roots campaign and get out and talk to a lot of people. Also, the primary election is next June.
In Johnson County, the race for supervisor often is settled by the Democratic primary. A Republican has not served as a Johnson County supervisor since 1962.