My name is Phil Hemingway and I am running for Johnson County Supervisor because I value mental health, smart growth, fiscal responsibility, farmland preservation, transparency, diversity and a county to treats staff and citizens with respect and fairness. I believe I have the skills, experiences and leadership qualities to support these ideals
I was born and raised on my family’s Century Farm in rural Johnson County between Morse and Oasis. I am the fourth generation of Hemingways to have lived and worked on that farm. For five years, I managed Roy Carver’s cattle ranch in Belize, Central America, this was a 24,000 acre cattle operation in the Orange Walk District where I met my wife Anita who was working at the District’s veterinary clinic. Additionally, I have spent time in Africa (Angola, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania) and in the former Soviet Union (Altai, Estonia, Russia, Novosibirsk, Ukraine). In Africa, I was working with unloading USAID ships in third world ports, working with stevedores from countries we were delivering aide to. In the former Soviet Union, I worked as an agricultural consultant during the Perestroika period. In 1997, I opened my own auto and truck repair business in Johnson County and it is still in operation today. With the exception of the times I was working overseas, I have lived and worked my entire life in Johnson County. I have always worked with my hands, either in agriculture or in the skilled trades.
In 2015, I was elected to the Iowa City Community School Board (ICCSD). My accomplishments include getting the ICCSD to reduce chemical spraying in our school buildings and on our grounds. My board representation on the steering committee helped lead to the addition of agricultural and FFA curriculum being added to our school district for the first time ever. I have consistently advocated for a more inclusive and fiscally responsible district. Being the chairperson of the Finance committee, I’ve been tasked with going through every check and receipt issued by the district every two weeks. Since my election to the board, I have held weekly gatherings at my shop to discuss issues facing the community.
I plan to bring the same level of fiscal responsibility and common-sense leadership to the Johnson County Supervisor position. Transparency and diversity of ideas are vital to successful decision making by any group. We cannot have multimillion-dollar deals being made by five people who think alike. Let’s get back to our priorities: building roads, bridges, and strengthening our commitment to agriculture, clean water and air. We must be stewards of our land for ourselves and for future generations and advocate for the ever-expanding need for mental health services in Johnson County. We must commit to maintaining our present infrastructure before embarking on new ones. Our land use plan for the county which establishes housing, growth, economic, environmental, transportation, infrastructure and land use direction for our community, needs a Supervisor who has actually worked and lived on a farm and has a blue-collar background. I believe I am that person. My farming experience and blue-collar background bring a unique and essential perspective to Johnson County’s land and people. We create the future by our choices and by our actions.
Your vote on November 6 impacts our local economy, our land, our people, our infrastructure, and water quality. Thank you in advance for your consideration.