Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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December 26, 2013

Sullivan’s Salvos     12/31/13

In this edition:

*Happy New Year!
*Salvos Salutes!
*Did You Know?

*Happy New Year!
         Happy New Year to all Salvos readers! I hope you and your loved ones enjoy a wonderful 2014!

*Salvos Salutes!
2013 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 eighth 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 Nelson Mandela 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 2013 Salvos Salutes go to:

Betty Sass: We will honor a big group of folks who retired this year, led by our Deputy Johnson County Treasurer. Betty Sass spent over 60 – that is correct, 60- years working for the people of Johnson County. She told me the best improvements over her tenure were: 1.) Typewriters; 2.) Air conditioning; 3.) The indoor smoking ban. Longevity offers very interesting perspective. And while the quantity of her years is amazing, the quality is even better!

Don Saxton: Four generations of Oxford residents know Don as Mr. Mayor. He did it all – from stray dogs to natural disasters and everything in between. No Mayor volunteered more time on Boards and Commissions. Don decided to hang it up after 44 years, and he leaves a small city as well managed as any in the County.

Jim Swaim: Retiring after over 40 years of service, Jim was the ONLY Director United Action for Youth had ever employed. Literally thousands of Johnson County kids have had better lives as a result of his work. What could possibly be a better legacy?

Mike Quinlan: Another retiree, Mike spent years running an innovative program of the 6th Judicial District. Rather than locking offenders away, they joined Mike in providing thousands of hours of valuable community service. Not only have nonprofits and governments benefitted from his work, but so have the offenders, who learn both job skills and empathy unavailable behind bars.

Harry Graves: The environment lost its best friend with the retirement of Johnson County Conservation Director Harry Graves. As current Director Larry Gullett put it, “Harry is a legend in the conservation field. He is a first-ballot Hall of Famer!” Amen!

Dick Schwab: I am a longtime fan of Dick Schwab. Few people give more of their time, talent, and resources. It is easy to talk about doing good; Dick walks the walk. Dick is quietly behind many of the philanthropies that make Johnson County great.

Jim Walters: A longtime friend, I simply appreciate the fact that Jim lives out his convictions. Peace, justice, labor, the environment, education… he cares about the things that matter. We don’t always agree, but I never have to doubt that Jim came to his opinion thoughtfully. He will not only fight for what he believes is right, but also delivers his time and money to the same causes.

Chip Hardesty: City High is a great school. What makes a great school? Great faculty and staff. And no one does more to make City High a special place than Chip, who has a great relationship with virtually every kid in the building.

Kingsley Botchway II: A coalition of young people, progressives, people of color, and more came together to elect Kingsley as the youngest member of the Iowa City Council in 40 years. Botchway had something to do with this too, of course – he demonstrated a sharp mind and a willingness to listen too often absent on the City Council.

Orville Townsend: The last few years have been extremely difficult for the local African American community. Out of the difficulties, longtime resident Orville Townsend has emerged as the elder statesman and tactical leader of a community pushing for greater racial equity. You can lead through word or deed, and Orville does both.

Kent Smith: Better known as the Englert Doorman, Kent makes every patron feel special. And don’t we all deserve to feel special once in awhile? Routine provision of courtesy and kindness have earned Mr. Smith a big Salute!

Coralville Voters: Americans For Prosperity thought they could use Koch Brothers money to buy the local election in Coralville. Wrong! Voters in Coralville soundly rejected AFP. Nice work, Coralville folk! And while we’re at it, SHAME on Governor Branstad for his role in this effort! He loves to micromanage local government from Des Moines, but this level of interference with a local election is beyond the pale.

Center for Worker Justice: Misty Rebik and her pals at the CWJ have done incredible work organizing immigrant communities, fighting wage theft, and advocating to make our county a more just place. Keep up the great work!

Coalition for Racial Justice: People in positions of power here locally have traditionally either harmed or ignored the African American community. Those days are coming to an end, and they are ending because of the work of the Coalition for Racial Justice. The CRJ is just getting started… you will hear much more about issues of racial equity in the very near future!

Congratulations to all our winners! I look forward to all the great things you’ll accomplish in 2014!

*DID YOU KNOW?  102 individuals/groups have received a Salvos Salute since they were started in 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.

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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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