Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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August 17, 2012

Sullivan’s Salvos 8/21/12 In this edition: *Happy Birthday BJ! *Teachers *”Tolerance” *Courage Ride *Did You Know? *Happy Birthday BJ! Happy Sweet Sixteen to my son BJ! BJ turns 16 on August 22nd; more importantly, in his mind – that is the day we plan to get his driver’s license! BJ is a really neat young man, and I am extremely proud of him. It might sound cliché, but I fell in love with him the moment I laid eyes upon him. My life is so much richer because of his presence. I think he has a great future ahead of him, too. Happy Birthday, Buddy! *Teachers School is back in session, so I thought it might be appropriate for a little history lesson: Our former US Representative (Congressman Leach) helped pass legislation that repealed Glass-Stegall, an important wall between banks and investment houses. Unfettered, banks branched out into all sorts of ventures, becoming unmanageably huge in some cases. In this rule-free wild-west environment, banks took risks they should not have taken, and loaned money they never should have loaned. Then the bottom fell out. The US economy was pushed to the brink. The US housing market collapsed, and the unemployment rate skyrocketed. Those of us who acted responsibly (including many local banks) were forced to suck it up and bail out the bad actors. This increased US debt. Local governments, dependent upon property taxes, saw revenues fall. Now -can someone explain to me how teachers became the problem? Because rather than deal with ANYTHING I have just described, politicians chose to attack public employees. Unfortunately, many in the public bought into this narrative. I disagree. I LOVE teachers! I think teachers are underpaid and underappreciated, and do NOT deserve to be under attack! A common refrain from the haters is that “unions protect the bad teachers.” Unions do ensure that every teacher, good or bad, gets a fair hearing. But don’t we want that? And where are these problem teachers? Sure, there have been a couple high-profile cases of teacher misconduct over the years. That happens in EVERY job. The number of poor teachers is remarkably low. Teachers definitely rate better than the members of the House of Representatives who attack them! Between my three kids, two of whom are already graduates of the ICCSD system, they have had 36 years of ICCSD education. Between the three, I would guess they have probably had over 150 different teachers. I would venture to say that 80% of those teachers deserve an “A”, and 15% deserve a “B”. I cannot recall a single teacher to whom I would give a “D” or below. If you ask any adult, her or she can point back to a couple (or perhaps several) teachers who had an impact and influence that was life long. I know that was true for me! I attended Lisbon Community Schools k-12. Former Lisbon teachers Joan Pringle, Jean Ann Whitman, Yvonne Fielder, and Bob Bunting top my list, but I had many other excellent teachers. I LEARNED from these people. They really and truly mattered in my life. This is a big deal! My children and my family have been truly blessed to have these wonderful, intelligent, dedicated, caring, compassionate, hard-working people in our lives. Thank you to each and every one of them. Good luck teachers, on your new school year! Rest assured that most of us appreciate all you do! Keep up the great work! *”Tolerance” It seems that the right has decided to attempt to co-opt the idea of “tolerance”. Tolerance is a good thing. It means being open-minded and accepting. In the bizzaro world of conservative politics, gays are intolerant because they do not sit back as the right attempts to destroy their lives. Sorry folks, but you do not understand tolerance. What’s more, I do not hold tolerance in the high regard some others do. First, tolerance does not appear in the Bill of Rights. Free speech does. Secondly, I believe in confronting those who have done wrong. Look. When you try to deny someone their rights, don’t be surprised that they get pissed off! You cannot spit in my face and pretend it is somehow protected speech. Much as I hate it, often the only way to stop a bully is to directly confront her/him. Feel free to exercise your right to free speech. Just don’t act so shocked (shocked!) when the targets of your abuse exercise theirs. *Courage Ride Welcome to the Courage Ride! - Honoring the Courage of Seth Bailey! Pedal over gently rolling green hills leading past Amish homesteads and over old stagecoach routes! Enjoy! Fabulous foods all day from start to finish; a mouthwatering Belgian Waffle Breakfast, a substantial biker's lunch, and plentiful snacks at rest stops that will keep your legs fueled and moving! Relax! The hills will be alive with the sound of music! Live entertainment throughout the day - even at the rest stops! Silent Auction! Place a winning bid on bikes and other fantastic items in our silent auction! Amenities! Detailed route map, SAG support, bike mechanics, hot shower, free grass camping, and a really cool pocket sized waterproof bike pouch. Donate! Your entry fee goes to a great cause! This annual bike ride through the beautiful countryside of Eastern Iowa is dedicated to improving the lives of people living with cancer by raising money funding local cancer research at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Your donation can help find a cure for sarcoma and other cancers! Non-riders are welcome so bring your family and friends. Dad's Belgian Waffle tickets may be purchased on the day of our ride at Iowa Mennonite School. Lunch and snacks are available for purchase as well. Stay with us and enjoy the music all day long! To date, the Courage Ride has raised over $113,400 for cancer research! For more information or to register visit: *DID YOU KNOW? US teachers rank only 22 out of 27 in a comparison of teacher salaries among developed nations. (Source: OECD.) 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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