About Janelle

For over 27 years, I’ve been active in many aspects of our County.  I’ve been involved in issues such as land use, conservation, civil and human rights, fiscally responsible government, and open and good government practices.   Everyday on the Board of Supervisors, I use my liberal arts background and decades of government and community experience to provide a positive influence on issues important to Johnson County.

Some Accomplishments of my First Term

I'm very proud of the progress and accomplishments that I've been a part of since becoming a Supervisor.  A partial list of these accomplishments include:

  • Established County reserve policy and created finance department.
  • Broader commitment to rebuilding and maintaining roads, paved shoulders, and trails.
  • Completed the Dubuque Street trail.
  • Created sustainability plan; hired Sustainability Coordinator.
  • Created stormwater management, wind energy facilities, and downcast outdoor lighting ordinances.
  • Commitment to quality of life through human services, mental health/disability services, block grants to local agencies, and economic development.
  • Balanced budget and maintained a healthy reserve.
  • Sold 1105 S Gilbert Ct. to the Crisis Center for $1, helping start the 1105 Project.
  • Committed to recreation and tourism on the Cedar River.
  • Started the restoration, enhancement and interpreting the historic County Poor Farm.
  • Restored the historic Sutliff Bridge.
  • Utilized Project Labor Agreements to keep good jobs local.
  • Created a buy local policy.

Some Accomplishments of my Second Term

  • Expanded funding for human services.
  • Increased conservation; expanded recreational opportunities.
  • Added six solar projects.
  • Created secure entrance at the Courthouse, and began remodeling process.
  • Developed and maintained a good infrastructure.
  • Centralized general and vehicle purchasing and fleet management.
  • Opened central Ambulance and Medical Examiner facility to better serve a growing population.
  • Promoted and developed use of County Poor Farm to be used to grow food for people in need.
  • Better utilized employees by cross training and job sharing.
  • Continued strong financial management and financial policies, and now have won many awards.
  • Started Mobile Crisis.
  • Increased Jail Alternative Programs.
  • Instituted Crisis Intervention Training for law enforcement and first responders.
  • Raised Minimum Wage.
  • Created and implemented Community IDs.
  • Lowered County debt.
  • Invested over $1.9 million into affordable housing.
  • Invested in training, wellness and improved employee safety, which now saves taxpayers almost $700,000 annually.
  • Created wetland mitigation bank.

Things to do during Third Term

  • Lead in the coordination of a center for Crisis Intervention Training (CIT).
  • Create a public/private partnership to redevelop the County Carquest property to include substantial affordable housing.
  • Reduce County greenhouse gas emissions and improve sustainability.
  • Work everyday to make Johnson County an open and welcoming community for all.
  • Restore the 1901 historic courthouse.
  • Restore the buildings and interpret the history of the historic Poor Farm.
  • Continue being an advocate for services and programming for those in need, including mental health and disability services, reducing poverty, and aging in place.
  • Provide leadership to keep improving our infrastructure of roads, bridges and trails, in a financially responsible way.
  • Demand transparency in all County transactions and continue to improve fiscal responsibility.
  • Fight for clean air, clean water, and environmental protections.
  • Promote livable communities with good jobs, good wages, and engaging activities for people to enjoy.



Chair, Johnson County Board of Supervisors

Iowa City Area Development (ICAD) Board

Iowa City Chamber of Commerce Board

Juvenile Justice Youth Development Policy Board

UNESCO City of Literature Board

Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Board

Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee

Decategorization Board

Johnson County Mental Health/Developmental Services Planning Council

Livable Community for Successful Aging Policy Board

SEATS/Paratransit Advisory Committee

Johnson County Emergency Management Commission

Joint Emergency Communications Policy Board

County Assessor Conference Board

City Assessor Conference Board

Urban County Coalition Committee

Member, Iowa Natural Resources Commission (DNR)

Chair, Iowa City Airport Commission

Member, Johnson County Trails Advisory Committee

Development Director, Iowa Bicycle Coalition

President, Northside Marketplace Business Association

Small Business Owner, Alternatives

Staff Congressman Jim Leach

Chief Assistant, Illinois State Representative David Hultgren

Community Involvement:

Neighborhood Representative, Washington Hills Neighborhood Association.
Treasurer, Joe Bolkcom for Senate;  Advisory Council, University of Iowa Center for Human Rights. Co-Chair, Citizens for Our Land, Water and Future. Treasurer/Board Member, Iowa Women’s Music Festival. Founder/Chair, Iowa Coalition for Human Rights. Treasurer/ Board Member, League of Women Voters. Parks and Recreation 2000 Task Force. Johnson County, Iowa Sesquicentennial Commission. 

Stonewall Award (1997 Iowa City Pride Committee)

Rick Graf Award (2007 Iowa City Human Rights Commission)

Organization of the Year: Johnson County Board of Supervisors (2014 City Federation of Labor)

Progressive Hero Award (2017 Iowa Citizen Action Network)



American Legion Post #17 Auxiliary

Bicyclists of Iowa City

Bur Oak Land Trust

Center for Worker Justice

Environmental Advocates

Friends of Hickory Hill Park

Friends of Historic Preservation

Hawkeye H.O.G. Chapter

Hoover Library Foundation

Iowa Archeological Society

Iowa Bicycle Coalition

Iowa City Foreign Relations Council

Iowa Civil Liberties Union

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

Iowa River Friends

Johnson County Historical Society

League of Women Voters


Nature Conservancy

Sierra Club 

State Historical Society

Team CAN

Proud Union Home

Team CAN

AFSCME (Robin)

More Stuff about Janelle

A Bicyclist

On Ragbrai with my mother

Married to Robin Butler

Married to my college sweetheart.  Cheesy, but true.  Proud to help work for marriage equality in Iowa. 

The Other Bike: A Harley Trike

We may not fit the typical look, be we are H.O.G. members.

A love of Archaeology & Stopping at Brown Signs

I am a member of the Iowa State Archaeology Society, and I read a number of archaeology magazines  One of my favorite things to do is to stop for brown historical marker signs with I travel.

Poker Player

In 2007, I won my way into the World Series of Poker

My Frisbee-loving Dog

Robin and I live with a very energetic, ball and Frisbee-loving dog.  She reminds us to live everyday to the fullest.