Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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August 12, 2012

Sullivan’s Salvos 8/14/12 In this edition: *Happy Birthday Melissa! *Spouses of Elected Officials *Back to School *UI Students Return *Good Bye Jordan! *Lone Tree Fall Festival *Did You Know? *Happy Birthday Melissa! My wife Melissa celebrates her birthday on August 17th. I am so unbelievably blessed to be married to this wonderful woman! Happy Birthday, Honey! I love you! *Spouses of Elected Officials In thinking about my own wonderful wife, I began thinking about the challenges she faces as the spouse of an elected official. I don’t think spouses of elected officials get nearly enough credit. They have to deal with people who call their homes at all hours. They wait ad nauseam while their spouse chats up constituents at the grocery store. They get dinner ready, only to have the spouse arrive home two hours late. In addition to the annoying stuff, there is the hard work! They stuff envelopes, knock on doors, and make phone calls. They march in parades, put up signs, and clean up after party events. Much of their personal time and money goes toward helping to elect their spouse to a job that takes a lot of time, yet really doesn’t pay very well. They have to massage bruised egos and often give good political advice. On top of all that, they are expected to always be nice and polite, and up to date on all the issues. They are also asked to bite their tongues, never letting on if they hold opinions that differ from those of their spouse. I could not do it. My hat is off to Melissa and all the men and women who manage to pull this off! *Back to School It seems as though school begins earlier every single year! IMS goes back August 15! The ICCSD, Regina and College Community start August 16! That seems extraordinarily early to me! Lone Tree begins the 20th, while Mid-Prairie, Solon and Clear Creek Amana kick off on the 21st. This might sound like a contradiction in light of what I just said, but personally, I favor a move to year round schools. I have a friend who teaches at Taylor Elementary in CR, and they have a wonderful schedule! There are more short breaks, and the school offers fun and educational programming for kids whose families do not have time off during the breaks. And the summer break is still a full 5 weeks long. Kids in year round schools maintain more of what they learn, and are creatively engaged more days per year. Studies show this type of arrangement gets very good results. Of course, there are downfalls. Older buildings must be air-conditioned. Teachers would work longer and get paid more. Their contracts need to be altered to allow them more flexible work schedules. More support staff are required. All of this costs money. A lot of money! In addition, I think we should add another 10 days or so to the school year. Yes, this too would be expensive. But is it a greater cost to our future than having kids sitting around playing video games? Doing something right is rarely the cheapest option. I’d like to see us suck it up and pay what it costs to do education right. Meanwhile, good luck to all the families out there who have students headed back for another year! Keep up the good work! *UI Students Return Over 30,000 UI students are descending upon Johnson County. Yes, this means no parking, longer lines, more litter, and late night hijinx. As a Johnson County resident, you need to alter your driving habits. You’ll need to allow more time for pretty much every endeavor. Plain and simple – you’ll need to be more careful. Those are a few of the downsides. But the upsides are too great to measure! We are blessed to live in an intelligent, caring, diverse, and wealthy community! The pros most certainly outweigh the cons! In addition, I love the rhythm that comes from living in a University community. Go Hawks! *Good Bye Jordan! As college students pour in to Iowa City, at least one college student is headed out. My daughter Jordan begins her freshman year at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois on Friday, August 17. Macomb is pretty similar to Cedar Falls, and WIU is much like UNI. It is a Division I school of about 13,000 students, located about 45 minutes southeast of Burlington. Jordan is majoring in psychology and received a scholarship for running on the track team. I could go on and on. Just let me say I am so very proud! Though this is not my first child to leave the nest, it is my first headed to college. If you see me bawling my eyes out in the next few weeks, this is probably why. Good luck, Jordan. Daddy loves you! *Lone Tree Fall Festival The last of the small town summer festivals is this Friday and Saturday, as Lone Tree hosts its annual Fall Festival. This is a family-friendly event with lots of different fun activities. For more info, please see: *DID YOU KNOW? Johnson County is home to about 25,000 people under the age of 18. (Source: US Census Bureau.) 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. If you do NOT want the weekly E-mail, simply reply to this message, and type "unsubscribe" in the subject line. If you know anyone else who might be interested, just forward this message. They can E-mail me at with "subscribe" in the subject line. As always, feel free to contact me at 354-7199 or I look forward to serving you! ---Rod


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