Previous month:
December 2008
Next month:
February 2009

January 2009

Despite sour economy County Supervisors to consider giving themselves a raise

The Johnson County Compensation Board last night recommended that the county's elected officials receive a 3 percent pay raise for fiscal year 2010.
If you'll recall, Supervisors fattened up their budget for fiscal 2009 by more than 13% over the previous year, escalating up to approximately $75 million from about $64 million.  Part of that increase included 3.5% pay raises for the likes of Supervisor Rod 'Blago' Sullivan and Auditor Tom 'Hickup' Slockett.  
The vote for this proposed raise was 4-2 in favor of the raise.
Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek wants a pay raise so he can be the fifth highest paid Sheriff in the state......  That's his argument, I work in the fifth highest populated county, so then I should be the fifth highest paid Sheriff in the state......  Pay based on population, as opposed to merit. 
Voting in favor of the raise were Compensation Board members Bill Kapp, Hyman Joseph, Joe Moreland, and Janelle Rettig.
Janelle Rettig if you'll recall, was a co-chair for the vote yes loons on the Conservation Bond issue.    One might ask if there is a little quid pro quo going on here, *thanking* Supervisors Sullivan, Neuzil, and Stutsman for pushing the Conservation Bond issue.
A big thanks goes out to Compensation Board members David Steen and Laura Hahn who voted against the raise.
If you would like to inquire with Janelle Rettig on how she can justify her approval of pay raises in government, when the county Supervisors are most likely facing deficit  spending, considering additional taxation because they can't budget properly - while people in the real world are making tough decisions and getting laid off...
She can be emailed at:

You may also want to consider taking the time to contact the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, who will give the final vote yes or no on this pay raise.  Just copy and paste the following letter, (add your own comments if you like) and then click the links to Supervisor email addresses listed below:




Dear Supervisor,


Given these sour economic times, the wisdom of authorizing a pay raise for elected officials such as yourself, needs to be questioned.

To borrow from a friend who has done some professional level research on this:


In Iowa , State government workers make $1,051 per week, on average.


Private sector worker/owners, in contrast, make an average of only $702 per week, or over $300 less.


The average Federal worker in Iowa makes $1,025, or about $25 per week less than State employees, but still $275 more than the private sector.


Did you realize that?


So at over $49,000 annually, you make more in an official part time role, than your full time counterpart in the private sector. 


When Johnson County residents are facing layoffs, reduced hours, reductions in pay, etc., you need to lead by example.  County government needs to cut back, not grow.


I strongly urge you to vote no on the pay raise.

---------------------------------------- (Vice Chairman)

Filiz's Thumbprint Cookies

by Filiz Thayer

Filiz Thumbprint cookies are a classic and making them is a family fun activity, especially on these chilly Iowa winter nights!  Who wants to venture outside when it's -25 degrees?

You’ll need:

  • Cooking spray
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup or 1 stick vegetable shortening or margarine
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • ¼  cup  water
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups  finely chopped nuts, any kind
  • 1 cup jam, any flavor 
    Preheat oven to 350 F. Adjust rack to the middle position. Spray two cookie sheets with no-stick spray. Beat the brown sugar and shortening in a mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes or until fluffy. Add egg yolks, water, vanilla and salt; beat until well combined. Add flour on low speed until well blended. Beat egg whites in a shallow bowl until foamy. Place nuts in a separate shallow bowl. Divide dough into equal portions (around 48). Form into balls by rolling between your palms. Dip each dough ball into egg whites, then roll into the nuts and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Using the back of a teaspoon or your thumb (kids love this part), make a rounded indentation in the top of each cookie. Bake cookies for 10 minutes; remove from oven. It may be necessary to press the indentation once again. Fill each cookie with a teaspoon of jam. Return cookies to oven; bake another 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Remove from oven; allow cookies to cool on baking sheet.

Comfort Food: Banana Cake

by Filiz Thayer

Filiz If you're in the mood to do a bit of baking, this is a great little recipe.  And warm banana cake/bread just out of the oven with a little butter on top..... Yummy! 


  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 stick margarine – room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe and smashed bananas
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup or any kind of jam or marmalade
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup any kind of nuts or chocolate chips (optional)

Mix sugars and margarine until creamy.  Add eggs, mix.  Add maple syrup or favorite jam, mix.  Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nuts or chocolate (optional) and mix.  Oil and flour your baking pan (11x13) and pour mixture into it.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake about 25 to 30 minutes.