Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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September 26, 2009

Sullivan’s Salvos 9/29/09

I am not sure how to start this off, so I’ll begin with the facts. Johnson County Supervisor Larry Meyers passed away around 1PM on September 22. Larry is survived by a sister, three brothers, and his adult son, Jordan.

I had known Larry since 1999, when he ran the Caucuses in Newport Township. Larry enjoyed talking politics, but did not set out to be a candidate for office; he was drafted, for lack of a better description. Despite this somewhat unique entrée into elective office, Larry took the job of Supervisor very seriously, and served Johnson County well.

Larry was a really fine man, and I thoroughly enjoyed working with him. He was bright, funny, optimistic, and loved to learn new things. Larry truly cared about people, and always wanted to do right by folks.

Larry was always reasonable, but passionate about many issues. He cared deeply about land use, and caused many people to take a strong look at the things we encourage.

The best part of the service was when Jordan and others spoke about Larry’s amazing job as a single father. He worked full time, volunteered at school, made it to Cub Scouts, conferences, and concerts. He cooked supper and did laundry and read to his son… he did everything that two parents need to do. He obviously did it well. And he did it by himself.

I enjoyed serving with Larry, but I do not think of him as a coworker. I think of him as a friend. I will miss you, Larry. I’ll miss you in the beer tent at Beef Days. I hope you are already golfing up there. Rest in peace, my friend.

One final appeal (I promise!) to come get your apples! They are very tasty, and have not been sprayed. Please let me know if you are interested.

I have had several discussions with other people lately about the vitriol that seems to be out there of late. People seem to be meaner than a few years ago, and looking to criticize and/or hurt everyone in their path. I have seen it at the convenience store, schools, high school sports, work - just about everywhere.

I am sometimes guilty of ignoring the Christian example and responding in kind. I have done that a couple times in the past couple years, and that came under public scrutiny recently. Obviously, my exchanges with these two individuals were not work-related, and were intended to be private. I still should not have said what I said, and I regret my actions. I apologize to all for my poor choices.

That does not change the fact that I feel the Press Citizen enables racism in our community. They do not perpetrate the act, but they hand the Klansmen their sheets. It is a problem, but they do not see it. The paper has chosen to target me because I am a critic. And trust me, there is a lot of stuff they are not telling/showing you!

As some of you may know, I have 3 African American children. I guess this stuff hurts me more deeply than I ever realized. I certainly need to apologize for my language. But I am not going to apologize for standing up to bullies and bigots.

But I can’t change the Press Citizen or the people who post there. I can control my reaction to the racists. I am hereby done posting on that site. I am speaking with a counselor to talk some things out. I promise I’ll try to do better.

I had the privilege of serving as a judge for the 1st Annual Chili Cook-Off in Lone Tree. This event was the brainchild of Helen Lemley, and was held in conjunction with the Lone Tree Farmers Market.

There was music, food, and 14 types of chili to sample! The event was simply wonderful, and shows what a little imagination can do for a small town. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to participate.

The winners, in case you were wondering: 1st Place: Alyssa Werbach - $1,000; 2nd Place: Mary Larson - $500; 3rd Place: Chanda Ruess - $100 plus a 1 night stay at Riverside Casino; Peoples Choice: Nancy Yakish - $50 + $30 Gift Certificate to LT’s Grocery.

Government is GOOD! How do I know? Because of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Every year in the US, consumer products cause 21,700 deaths, 28 million injuries, and cost us $200 billion. That compares very favorably with countries of similar populations. (Source: Times-Picayune.)

Imagine things without the CPSC! What if we used market forces to get defective car tires off the market? (Just wait until enough people die – then they’ll change!) The CPSC keeps us safe. Brought to you by your GOVERNMENT!

October 4-10 is Mental Illness Awareness Week. The local chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) has events all week long.

Please see: for more information.

The Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) of Johnson County is holding its 3rd annual Art Auction fundraiser and 60th anniversary celebration October 4th from 4-7 PM at the Brown Deer Clubhouse.

Tickets are $30, and include wine and hors d’oeuvres. You can make reservations by calling 337-9686.

VNA is a wonderful organization that helps thousands of vulnerable Johnson County residents every year. Please help them if you can!

DID YOU KNOW? Johnson County has 21 townships.

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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