Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

Previous Posts


July 27, 2013

Sullivan’s Salvos     7/30/13

In this edition:

*Happy Anniversary!
*RIP Clayton Ringgenberg
*Mussel Paddle
*Back To School Help
*Stand Your Ground
*Swisher Fun Days
*Did You Know?

*Happy Anniversary!
         Happy Anniversary to my wonderful wife, Melissa Fath. I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I know I got a great deal here! Melissa is the best wife and mother a person could ever hope for!

         Happy Anniversary, Honey! It has been a great ride!
I hope we celebrate many more!

*RIP Clayton Ringgenberg
         Johnson County lost a real resource last week with the passing of Clayton Ringgenberg. I knew Clayton through our church, and always regarded him as a very kind and decent gentleman.

Unfortunately, I had known him for several years before I learned of his illustrious background: Clayton was the first director of the Iowa Legislative Research Bureau, Director of the Iowa League of Municipalities, Chief of Staff for Gov. Robert Ray, and retired as Director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Iowa. I wish I had asked his advice sooner!

In addition to his public service, Clayton was active in many organizations. He served as a Board Member of Grand View University and National Travelers Life Company, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation Advisor, Iowa City Charter Commission, Iowa City Library Board and Foundation, Board of Control of Athletics at the University of Iowa, Visiting Nurses Association, Iowa 2000 Task Force as well as many roles at Saint Andrew Presbyterian Church.

         There are so many people in Johnson County who are so incredibly smart and experienced. I wish I had been wise enough to tap into this talent earlier. It serves as a good reminder that our elders accomplished a great deal before we were on the scene. Quite a resume, and quite a man. RIP, Clayton.

*Mussel Paddle
Freshwater mussels might look like rocks, but they are living creatures that help keep our rivers clean. Learn about these fascinating critters on a float trip on the Iowa River Water Trail.

The paddle will be held Saturday, August 3, from 9:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. beginning at Sturgis Ferry Park in Iowa City and ending at the Hills Access near Hills. The event is free but registration is required and participation is limited to twenty boats.

Mussel expert Jennifer Kurth will be along to explain the natural history of what are sometimes called freshwater “clams.” Participants should come prepared to get wet and muddy during a hands-on demonstration of mussel surveys.  Jennifer is a Natural Resource Biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and is currently in the midst of a six-year statewide survey of freshwater mussels.

A limited number of canoes and kayaks are available at no charge for participants who don't have their own. The paddle is open to everyone but children under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration and additional information is available at or by calling (319) 645-1011. After registration participants will receive a packet with detailed information about the trip, including a map and shuttling instructions.

The Iowa Water Trail is one of 19 official water trails in Iowa. This paddling trip is cosponsored by Pathfinders RC&D, Johnson County Conservation Board and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

*Back To School Help
         It is time once again to fill backpacks with school supplies for needy kids!

The Homeless Children’s Trust provides help for children who have been homeless and need special assistance. Counselors from HACAP, the Domestic Violence Intervention Program, the Shelter House and MECCA provide us with the names of families in crisis. The program supplies school supplies, backpacks, socks and underwear to children of all ages.

You can drop off items at the Little Red Schoolhouses found at: All UICCU locations, all CORE Fitness locations, all HACAP locations, all Walgreens locations, Waterfront and CV Hy Vees, the Senior Center, Big K Mart, KCJJ, and Hills Bank on Gilbert Street.

Supplies will be sorted and packed in the backpacks on August 12th. We will meet at 1:00pm at the HACAP Family Service Center at 367 Southgate in Iowa City. Please come and volunteer your time.

HACAP provides Head Start classrooms for 260 children, 52 transitional housing units, heating assistance, employment counseling and other programs in Johnson County. Any donations given in Johnson County are used for families in need in Johnson County.

Checks may be written to the Homeless Children’s Trust and sent to HACAP at 367 Southgate, Iowa City 52240. For questions or to sign up for volunteer work on Friday August 9th Call Mary Larew at 337-2264 or Jeanne Nunley at 337-5765. HACAP is a United Way Agency.

*Stand Your Ground
         The Trayvon Martin case occurred in part because of a REALLY stupid law – “Stand Your Ground”.

         Yes, there are several other issues involved. I do not mean to minimize any of the concerns over race and justice. As a matter of fact, I’ll write about them in another edition of Salvos. But Stand Your Ground makes everything worse.

         Under Iowa law, you may carry a firearm, but you may only use it if there was no other way for you to leave the situation. This is the way most state laws used to read. It is common sense. We do not want individuals taking the law into their own hands. In Iowa, if you use your gun, you had better get it right, or the penalties will be severe. That is as it should be. Brandishing and/or firing a weapon is a BIG deal, and it should be treated as such.

         Stand Your Ground laws allow the person carrying the weapon to serve as judge, jury, and executioner. Make a mistake? Too late – someone is already dead. A civilian should ALWAYS be required to retreat if possible.

         This has nothing to do with gun rights. Carry all the guns you want. This is about gun responsibilities. Carrying a gun is one thing. Using it is a whole different ballgame.

Stand Your Ground is just stupid. It invites deadly conflict. It legalizes vigilantism. Statistics show that gun deaths are up in states that have passed these laws. I hope Legislators in Iowa maintain the common sense to keep Stand Your Ground out of our state.

*Swisher Fun Days
         The fine people of Swisher are holding their annual Fun Days this Friday the 2nd, Saturday the 3rd, and Sunday the 4th.

         Swisher is a cool little town well positioned between Coralville/North Liberty and Cedar Rapids. They have a great new coffee shop, a wonderful new library, and older landmarks like Shelton’s Grocery and the Dance Mor Ballroom. There are plenty of good people doing good things in this town!

         So get up to Swisher this weekend and have some fun!

*DID YOU KNOW?  HACAP stands for Hawkeye Area Community Action Program.

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!



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home