Linn County officials: Dostal 'just always a public servant'

Former Linn County supervisor described as effective, but never political

Steve Gravelle
Published: December 28 2012 | 12:44 pm - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 3:50 am in

Lumir Dostal "was just always a public servant," according to Linn County Supervisor Brent Oleson.

Dostal, 76, a county supervisor from 1995 through 2002, died Wednesday at Mercy Medical Center. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church, Marion.

"I have a lot of fond memories of working with Lumir," said former supervisor Jim Houser. "He treated me with respect. We had a lot of differences, but he always respected me and I respected him."

"I think my leadership qualities speak for themselves," Dostal told The Gazette in 2002 after losing his bid for a third term. "I don't like to toot my own horn. I think I have the ability to get the best out of people I work with and, to me, that's leadership."

Dostal was the first Republican voted to the county board in 22 years when he won election in November 1994. Supervisors then ran at-large, but Dostal was considered the board's rural representative, although he moved into Marion the following year from the farm northeast of town he'd worked for 35 years.

"He had a lot of ties to the rural community," said Houser, a Democrat whose terms on the board overlapped Dostal's. "Lumir had a lot of insight and a lot of knowledge about the land, and the feeling people had attached to their farms and land."

That knowledge was useful as supervisors wrote a new county land-use plan, Houser said, and Dostal looked after the county's rural roads and parks.

"We've probably got one of the best park systems in the state," Dostal said in 2002.

Before his two supervisor terms Dostal served 15 years on the Linn-Mar school board and was board chairman of Bluestem, predecessor to today's Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1960 with an agricultural business degree and served 24 years in the Iowa National Guard.

"He was a good guy," said Oleson, R-Marion. "He helped me in my first campaign."

Oleson was elected six years after Dostal's last term, but he said the fellow Marion Republican was glad to help with his first campaign.

"Id meet with him at Burger King a couple times a week," Oleson said. "He was a Republican, but he was never political."

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