Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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December 21, 2016

Sullivan’s Salvos     12/27/16

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 2017!

*Salvos Salutes!
2016 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 tenth 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 daily heroism of someone like our firefighters, police, and paramedics. There are also examples that garner international attention. 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 2016 Salvos Salutes go to:

Joe Bolkcom: It is said you can judge a society by the way they treat their most vulnerable citizens. The decision to turn Iowa Medicaid over to private Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) will go down in history as one of the worst political decisions in Iowa history. While his battle is decidedly uphill, Senator Bolkcom has been a leading voice for the 1/6 Iowans who receives some type of Medicaid service.

Jim Throgmorton: There are many reasons to want to serve as Mayor. It can be a springboard to higher office. It can fulfill a need for attention. It can promote personal business interests. It can serve as the capstone to a career in public service.
Or, you could be Jim Throgmorton. The Mayor of Iowa City genuinely cares about the lives of the individual people who live in this city. Jim does not show up places looking for kudos; he shows up because he CARES. I am so proud that Jim is the Mayor of my town!

Geoff Fruin: I don’t know if I have ever seen anything quite like it. It seemed that EVERYONE wanted to see Geoff Fruin promoted from Assistant City Manager to City Manager! Liberals, conservatives, old, young, Chamber, Labor… it seems everyone wanted to hire Geoff. And I can see why! Geoff is a great guy and a team player who seems to really get things done. I think his future and the future of Iowa City are both bright!

Linda Fisher: Given the current state of the world/country/state, it can be easy to get discouraged. You need a source of positive energy. That is what I get from my friend Linda Fisher. A woman of a great many interests and talents, Linda’s true gift is her unrelenting positive energy. I always feel better after speaking to Linda!

Linda Herring: A modest house in Tiffin has been a home for literally scores of foster children. When I met Linda Herring over 25 years ago, she was already 25 years into an unbelievable body of work as a foster mother. Linda routinely accepts children with significant needs, even after all these years. I truly cannot imagine the number of hours she has invested in the children of Johnson County.

Terry Dahms: For government to work, citizens must get involved. In Johnson County, no one is more involved than Terry Dahms. All year long you’ll find Terry hard at work on any number of Boards and Commissions. From Planning and Zoning to Bicycling and Trails, Terry quietly works his tail off to create a better Johnson County. He has been doing this for decades - and his work is all volunteer!

Bill Waldie: Did you read what I just wrote? The same description also fits Bill Waldie. From the Johnson County Conservation Board to the Solon Library Board to the Comprehensive Plan Committee, Bill is a full time volunteer. Every time we appoint him to another group, someone comes up to me and says, “Where did you find that guy? He’s great!” Truth is, we didn’t find Bill – he just showed up and began offering good advice!

Mike and Chris Weinard: I have been volunteering in local political campaigns since the late 1980s. In that whole time, I do not believe I have EVER seen anyone work as hard over a 4 year period as Mike and Chris Weinard! Show me someone who has knocked on more doors – you can’t do it! More importantly, they bring passion, intelligence, and senses of humor to the tasks at hand. I am glad they are on my side, and I’m proud to call them a Union Brother and Sister!

Kice Brown: Lone Tree has been lucky to have Carl “Kice” Brown as a resident these many years. In addition to his service on the City Council, Kice has done great work with senior dining, housing, and the local cable franchise. On top of that, Kice represents Lone Tree on all sorts of county Boards and Commissions, and has done so for some time. And Kice does it all with his signature smile!

Patrick Wallace: Serving as President of the Iowa City Federation of Labor is a very challenging job! Patrick Wallace not only did the job well, but he did it while continuing to work the line at Rockwell as a member of IBEW 1634. Typically Labor Councils have Business Reps as Presidents; it is great to see a rank and file worker serve in this capacity. All labor activists owe Patrick a big thanks for his service!

Jessica Peckover: It is REALLY difficult to get the majority of all the public officials in the area to agree on anything. Jessica Peckover has done even better – she has convinced everyone to wholeheartedly support Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) and bring it to Johnson County. CIT will help law enforcement officers to better serve people who are struggling with mental health and/or substance abuse issues. While this approach makes sense, it would not be happening without Jessica’s knowledge, passion, persistence, and just plain hard work.

Veronica Tessler: Johnson County has a fantastic group of young professionals on the rise. I am anxious to see what they will do when they take charge! When that happens, I expect Veronica Tessler to be in the center of it all. As the owner of Yotopia, Veronica has put her beliefs into action as a key part of her work. As an activist, Veronica has organized many successful events in Iowa City. Keep your eye on Ms. Tessler; her future is bright!

Barry Bedford: It has been a long time since Coralville was a sleepy little town, yet residents still feel safe and secure. Much of the credit for this goes to Police Chief Barry Bedford, who is retiring after 29 years. You see many communities struggling with police-citizen relationships, but Barry has managed to avoid these issues for three decades. He must be doing something right! Congratulations on your retirement, Chief!

Marcella Hurtado: You know the old saying that Grace Kelly did everything Fred Astaire did but backwards and in heels? That is exactly how I feel about Marcella Hurtado. Through her work with the Center for Worker Justice (CWJ), Marcella has won many battles for the immigrants and low-wage workers of our County. Marcella has been as effective as any activist in Johnson County. Yet she does it all in her second language, and with her children in tow! Enhorabuena, Marcella! Sigues impresionándome! Mantener el buen trabajo!

Andy Johnson: This one hurts my heart, as Andy is leaving Johnson County to join family in Omaha. If you have ever worked with Johnson County in any capacity, you know that Andy is the one that makes it all happen. I cannot even begin to describe all of his good qualities. Our Boards have not been the easiest groups for whom one could work. We are very flawed as individuals, and even more flawed as a group. But for the most part, things get done, and they get done because of Andy. His wisdom, kindness, thoughtfulness, patience, honesty, humility, and decency are beyond comparison. I wish I was half as good a person as Andy. I could exhaust my thesaurus looking for words to explain how I feel about Andy, but I think I’ll settle on one: Grace. I never deserved a person like Andy as a friend or coworker, but I got to enjoy him as both. Grace. Thank you, Andy. Thank you for everything. Grace.

Congratulations to all our winners! I look forward to all the great things you’ll accomplish in 2017!

*DID YOU KNOW?  146 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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