Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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April 1, 2008

Sullivan’s Salvos 4/1/08

No April Fools today… too many somber things going on.

Johnson County suffered a terrible tragedy last week. My prayers go out to everyone touched in any way by this tragic event.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge a pair of retirements that were recently announced.
Ro Foege (D-Mount Vernon) is retiring after 14 years in the Iowa House of Representatives. Ro represents a large swath of northern Johnson County. Ro is a true gentleman, who was always able to work with his colleagues from the GOP. He is kind, considerate, and polite, and really cares about people.
Most importantly to me, Ro has always been a champion of the underdog. Ro spent his entire professional (and Legislative) career working with the poor, single mothers, foster children, people with mental retardation, victims of domestic violence, special ed students, the uninsured – anybody who needed a hand up in our society.
Ro knew his life’s work was never going to make him wealthy or earn him fame and fortune. But Ro did the most important work a person can do. Ro did it a long time, he did it humbly, and he did it well. Thanks, Ro! You will certainly be missed!

Marilyn Wirtz is retiring after 16 years as Principal at Hoover Elementary in Iowa City. All three of my children had the privilege of attending Hoover Elementary, and it IS a privilege! Many things go into making a school great, but Hoover could have never achieved the things it has without Ms. Wirtz and her steady hand.
I have always held a special place in my heart for educators. When you have a lousy teacher it haunts you. When you have a great teacher it influences you for the rest of your life. Great principals create the environment in which great teachers can flourish.
Ms. Wirtz has always been caring and compassionate, and she has always managed to understand and appreciate the idiosyncrasies of all 300 and some kids at Hoover. Yet she runs a very tight ship, and there is never any question who is in charge.
I recall a time 4-5 years ago when I introduced my son BJ (who is now in 5th grade) to Dr. Plugge. BJ did not comprehend the idea of a Superintendent, so I attempted to explain Dr. Plugge’s role by saying, “He is Ms. Wirtz’s boss.” BJ looked at me very matter-of-factly, and replied, “Ms. Wirtz DOES NOT have a boss!”
Thank you, Ms. Wirtz! You gave my family a series of outstanding experiences at Hoover! I sincerely appreciate everything you do!

April 6-12 is National County Government Week. I like the fact that such a week exists; I find that most people are unaware of all the services county governments provide. The theme for National County Government Week this year is “Protecting Our Children”.
This is an appropriate theme for us, as Johnson County dedicates considerable resources toward caring for our children. Just look at a quick list: The Sheriff’s Office and Ambulance Department are obviously on the front line when it comes to protecting children. The County Attorney’s Office protects hundreds of children through legal channels. Public Health provides numerous services to children. Some eligible children are served by Case Managers in the MH/DD Department. The Conservation Department devotes much time and energy toward programming for children. Johnson County block grants almost a million dollars every year to local human services providers that serve children. Johnson County provides housing for the Iowa Department of Human Services.
All that, and the County Department that deals most significantly with children is our Department of Social Services! Headed by Amy Correia, Social Services does a wonderful job of coordinating the many services for children.
I urge you to visit the Social Services section of the County web page ( and investigate all the many services Johnson County funds and provides to help protect our children.

Johnson County is having its spring sale of used computer equipment on April 5th this year. All the equipment being offered has been in use for 5-6 years and is in working order unless specifically stated otherwise. Here is the link to the sale information:

DID YOU KNOW? Johnson County’s Roads Maintenance expenses for this winter went $250,000 over budget.

Anyone interested in learning more about County government should take a look at the County website-

"Sullivan’s Salvos" is sent once per week to any interested party. It will give a brief update on issues of interest to Johnson County residents.

These messages come solely from Rod Sullivan, and neither represents the viewpoints of the whole Board of Supervisors nor those of groups or individuals otherwise mentioned.

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As always, feel free to contact me at 354-7199 or I look forward to serving you!



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