Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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January 1, 2011

Sullivan’s Salvos 12/28/10

*Happy New Year!
*Salvos Salutes!

*Happy New Year!
I want to sincerely thank you for reading Salvos throughout the year. I hope 2011 is a great year for you and yours.

*Salvos Salutes!
2010 is coming to a close, and it is time for honoring a few select Johnson County residents with that most treasured of honors, the Salvos Salute. A few observations:

* This is the fifth annual set of awards, and there are always more people who deserve awards than there are awards to give. We live in a great County!

* The focus is on Johnson County. While it is certainly worth noting the heroism of someone like Chauncey Sullenberger, Jan Shakowsky, or Mike Gronstal, we have everyday heroes right here in Johnson County that deserve a shout out.

* There are some people out there that could win every year. I am trying to honor different folks, but repeat winners are not out of the question.

* Salvos Salutes do not have specific criteria, but you can bet that in general, most of the winners are courageous, advocate for peace and justice, have good ideas, speak truth to power, avoid hypocrisy, and look out for the less fortunate.

Without further adieu, your 2010 Salvos Salutes go to:

Tom Kriz: The Johnson County Treasurer’s Office is a model for the rest of the state. They accomplish more work today with fewer staff and a smaller budget than when Treasurer Kriz started in 2002. The office is efficient, accurate, and employees take pride in their work. When people claim that government is ineffective, I point to the Treasurer’s Office and prove them wrong.

Larry Meister: Since retiring from his job as the Solon High School Principal, Larry has dedicated himself to the seniors of the Solon community. Through Solon Senior Advocates and the Livable Community Policy Board, Larry’s volunteer efforts benefit senior citizens throughout Johnson County.

Mary Palmberg: The Director of Free Lunch Program, she helps out Shelter House, Salvation Army, Table to Table, and other organizations. Mary gets a small salary for being director but does not accept it. Mary uses a pickup on Fridays to make deliveries of furniture to those in need. Mary has bicycled across the United States and up and down the Mississippi River; she does that to raise money for Free Lunch.

Joy Eyeman: If there is something happening to benefit the community, expect Joy to be involved. When you hear about the high levels of volunteerism in Johnson County, you are hearing about Joy. And she does it all with a big smile!

June Judge: People with mental illnesses face many challenges. No one has done more to tackle these problems than June. Her tireless advocacy efforts have made a big difference, though June will be the first to tell you that there is much work left to do!

Mike Townsend: Mike retired this year after more than 30 years of service to those in need. As Vice President of Goodwill Industries, he helped guide our local Goodwill through huge expansions (they are now Goodwill of the Heartland) without ever compromising the mission of the organization.

Sue Freeman: While many folks were busy badmouthing the SE side of Iowa City, Sue was rolling up her sleeves and getting to work. Sue’s job with Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County has always been part administrative, part direct service, and part advocacy. She has always been a rock for people in need. It just never made the news before.

Karen Fesler, Phil Hemmingway, & Jim Pickering: Karen, Phil, and Jim are local Republican activists. We rarely support the same candidates, and we are often on the opposite sides of issues. So why did they make the list? Because they are good people who have treated me with kindness, compassion and respect, even as we disagree on the issues of the day. Jim never fails to make my day with his teasing, so it is not as though he avoids telling me what he thinks. If only all of us (myself included) could manage to always maintain such a good nature!

Mark Ginsberg: Mark is the owner of Ginsberg Jewelers in downtown Iowa City. Put simply, Johnson County has no bigger supporter of the arts. Mark volunteers tirelessly to maintain the amenities that make Johnson County special.

Lucas Elementary DEED: Dads Engaged in Engineering Dreams (DEED), a volunteer men’s group, has helped make a difference for Lucas Elementary students, the school and the Iowa City community.

John Stimmel: If you have ever visited the Hy-Vee on First Avenue in Iowa City, you probably know John as one of the most smiling of the “helpful smiles in every aisle”. John is celebrating 30 years of living on his own after 30 years spent in Woodward State Hospital School. Unfortunately, Woodward was not a nice place when John was there. By living and working on his own, he did what everyone said he could not do. John’s story is truly inspirational.

So – what do YOU think? Are the choices good, bad, or otherwise? Who was deserving but overlooked? I appreciate your feedback.

Meanwhile, congratulations to all these deserving winners! You make Johnson County the great place that it is!

*DID YOU KNOW? Visitors to Johnson County spent $292 million in 2009, resulting in $19 million in local taxes. (Source: Iowa City/Coralville Convention & Visitors Bureau.)

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

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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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