Printed Letters: June 5, 2014

Experience matters 
in county sheriff’s race
We read with some surprise a recent article in The Daily Sentinel highlighting the positions of Mesa County sheriff candidate John Pennington. While we assume this gentleman is well intentioned, our experience leads us to believe he may be naïve when it comes to running an organization as complex as the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.

Given the prominent role a retired sheriff from Arizona has played in this campaign, we feel compelled to give our two cents about what it takes to be a Colorado sheriff.

First, there is no substitution for law enforcement experience. Firsthand knowledge of the demands associated with patrolling neighborhoods, arresting bad guys, investigating complex crimes and managing people was the foundation each of us used to effectively lead our offices. The absence of law enforcement and management experience is not a virtue; leading one of the largest law enforcement agencies in Colorado is no place for on-the-job training.

Next, it’s hard to believe a candidate for sheriff would question the value of the 911 emergency call system. While we are baffled about who exactly this comment was designed to appeal to, our experience has been that 911 saves lives. Mesa County needs a sheriff focused on expanding access to 911 emergency services, not shrinking it.

Finally, Mesa County voters should be concerned about a candidate for public office who has no experience balancing budgets. A great deal of our time is spent prioritizing spending, making cuts and building partnerships to ensure taxpayer resources are spent only in areas most critical to protecting public safety. Again, this is no place for on-the-job training.

Granted, it’s pretty unusual for sitting sheriffs to weigh in to a primary race for sheriff in a neighboring county. That said, we could no longer sit on the sidelines after reading the recent article in the Sentinel. Steve King has served his community as a cop and a legislator. Having worked with him in both of those capacities over the past 20 years, we wholeheartedly support his campaign for Mesa County sheriff and we hope voters choose experience over rhetoric on June 24.

LOU VALLARIO
Sheriff, Garfield County
FRED MCKEE
Sheriff, Delta County


Write-in sheriff candidate responds without rhetoric
I am concerned with the local elections for sheriff. I attended the sheriff’s forum. Reading The Daily’s Sentinel’s article online of this event, I was shocked to note that it did not cover the most important question asked. I will paraphrase the question, as I did not record this forum. The question basically asked, “What laws would you advise deputies to not enforce?”

I was amazed that only the write-in candidate, Mike Harlow, answered this question without rhetoric. His answer, as I remember it, was that he would instruct deputies to enforce only the constitutional laws. He answered that enforcing unconstitutional laws would make us criminals, and that federal government would have to go down that road alone.

I am an independent but usually vote Republican. I have never voted for a write-in candidate, but I’ve changed my mind. Let’s not have business as usual any longer.

ROBERT MARTINI
Fruita


Phillips makes standout 
statement at sheriff’s forum
In the county sheriff candidates’ forum covered by the Sentinel on Thursday, candidate Benita Phillips made a remarkable statement: “I’m not afraid of the federal government. The federal government is us.” Amid all of the testosterone-infused blather from the other participants, that statement stood out as a beacon of clarity and common sense. I don’t know much yet about Phillips’ other qualifications, but as of now, she has my vote.

BOB WHITEHORNE
Grand Junction


Regardless of beliefs, effects
 of climate change important
According to a recent study, a person’s strongly held belief will actually become stronger if new information becomes available that contradicts the belief. Thus, those folks who really believe climate change is a hoax now believe it even stronger.

However, many who say that they don’t believe climate change is occurring are really saying that they don’t want to do anything about it. These folks are very well financed and have a really good misinformation campaign. They may prevail for an extended period of time.

Maybe our best bet is to stipulate that such items as the rise in sea level and the change in areas fit for agriculture and habitation are just coincidences. Then, we could at least discuss what to do with our flood insurance program and which areas to try to protect from a rise in sea level. We could have information about what areas would still be pleasant to inhabit and at least direct our children to these areas.  Remember the tobacco companies’ campaign to convince us that smoking was harmless? We can do the best with our current situation and look forward to a better time.

DAVID AUSTIN
Grand Junction


COMMENTS

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You were correct Sheriff Vallaro when you stated that you need not be involved in another counties politics. Considering your own colorful history I find your opinion worthless.

how do we trust some one that constantly circumvents the laws, ignores congress and the military and forces the release of 5 dangerous terrorists for one military deserter? How do you people that voted for this guys sleep? Especially if you have children in the military or family overseas? I had friends in the World Trade Center the day it came down. What does it take? somebody to land a plane on the Whitehouse to wake people up? Richard Bright

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