Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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December 20, 2012

Sullivan’s Salvos 12/25/12 In this edition: *Merry Christmas! *RIP Mary Sommerville *”Minority”? WTF? *Salvos Salutes *Did You Know? *Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it. I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday! *RIP Mary Sommerville Johnson County lost a longtime water quality advocate and environmental steward with the recent passing of Mary Sommerville of rural Oxford. RIP, Mary – your good works live on! *”Minority”? WTF? The ICCSD recently adopted a broad policy on diversity. There are several things covered in the policy; I urge all residents of the ICCSD to check it out. One piece of the Diversity Policy has me particularly steamed. I am the parent of three African American children. As such, I strongly object to the use of the term "minority" to refer to low-income students. I do believe it is fair to point out that certain groups of students (kids with disabilities and religious minorities, for example) OTHER than racial/ethnic minorities suffer from the way in which we deal with their differences. But I think using the term "minority" to refer to anything other than a racial/ethnic minority flies in the face of conventional understanding, and will cause tremendous and unnecessary confusion. The fact of the matter is, in the US in 2013, "minority" still means racial minority. We have our share of issues here, too - why confuse things? *Salvos Salutes! 2012 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 seventh 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. It is certainly worth noting the heroism of someone like Malala Yousufzai, the 11-year-old Pakistani girl who stood up to the Taliban, or Karen Lewis of the Chicago Teacher’s Union. But 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 2012 Salvos Salutes go to: Mary Larew: You know the saying – “Big things come in small packages”? This is personified by the diminutive Ms. Larew, who gets more done than any three people. Mary is an amazing volunteer, and a constant voice for the less fortunate members of the Johnson County community. She can be tough, opinionated, and even demanding. But no one advocates harder for economic justice. Nathan Reckman: The Press Citizen recently described “whistleblowers” as workers who — often at great risk to their careers — come forward with evidence of illegal behavior, waste, fraud and mismanagement. This perfectly describes Nathan Reckman, who had the courage to come forward with the misdeeds he witnessed in the Auditor’s Office. Luckily for Nathan, he found a different good job locally. Not everyone is so fortunate. Denise Schares: The Clear Creek Amana Superintendent has been willing to take on cities regarding their use of TIF. Bravo! Superintendent Schares has pointed out how much TIF costs our local school districts and the taxpayers in those districts. I hope she keeps talking, and I hope people begin listening! Charlie Eastham: A tireless advocate for issues that affect the “least” among us, Charlie puts in a phenomenal amount of volunteer time. Low income housing, poverty, racial discrimination – Charlie is out there doing the right thing! Toni & Jake DeRyke: It seems as though this couple supports every good cause this county has to offer. They are never in the spotlight, but they are always there. These are precisely the type of caring people that make our county great! And Toni cleans my clock at the Iowa City Scrabble Club! Ed Flaherty: We have been at war for over eleven years now – the longest war in US history. It is easy to forget this – unless you know Ed Flaherty and his fellow Veterans for Peace. Ed refuses to forget, and refuses to let us forget, even if that becomes uncomfortable. Ed’s message is simple: peace is the best route. If only our leaders would listen! Jim McCarragher: During the campaign for a new Justice Center, local attorney Jim McCarragher volunteered more time and talent than any other county resident. He had nothing to gain from this advocacy; he simply knew it to be a big community need. Though the measure failed to achieve the required 60%, it did get over 56% of the vote – in no small part due to Jim’s efforts. Sandy Hanson: The people of Solon have a spark plug in Sandy Hanson, who is probably best known for the Hanson’s Grove antique sales on Highway 1. These sales take a lot of time, but that time pales in comparison to the time Sandy has put in with Seniors, the homebound, and starting the Solon Food Pantry. Sam Becker: Like many people, I was sad to learn of Sam’s recent passing. Sam and his wife Ruth were instrumental in creating the whole system of supports that exist for people with disabilities. The Arc, Goodwill, Systems Unlimited, special ed in the ICCSD – we take these things for granted. The Beckers STARTED them! In addition to being a popular professor, an internationally known scholar, chairing the Board in Control of Athletics, serving as a community volunteer, an active Democrat, and a selfless philanthropist, Sam was a wonderful husband, father, and friend. Sally Stutsman: My colleague on the Board of Supervisors is headed to the Iowa Legislature, and I could not be more proud. As I have noted before, Sally deserves most of the credit for improving the County government we now have. Before Sally was elected, we had cronyism, sexism, secrecy, no plan for investing, a lack of transparency, and a lack of written policies. Over many objections, Sally led Johnson County to a government of laws rather than a government of personalities. Sally has never gotten the thanks she ought to for her work in those trying times. Sally will do government right for the people of HD77. Sue Dvorsky: The old saying is you need to go at least an hour away from home to be appreciated as an expert. Well, we have an expert among us in Sue Dvorsky, whose leadership of the Iowa Democratic Party brought us a big Obama win, two out of four Congressional seats, maintenance of power in the Iowa Senate, a near takeover of the Iowa House, and a party that is right on the issues, financially strong, and a model for the rest of the US. Congrats, Sue, on a job well done! Congratulations to all our winners! *DID YOU KNOW? 78 different individuals/groups have received a Salvos Salute since 2006. 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


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, we should champion this moron:

December 29, 2012 at 10:06 AM  

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