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May 3, 2012     The Adams County Record
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Page 16 Wednesday, May 2, 2012 Sheriff Candidate Forum Continued from front page The Adams County Record Shop Plan Update Continued from front page the Brundage ski area is in Adams County. He said reducing the number of patrol officers is Unsafe for the officers and for the citizens. Don Allen said the sheriff needs to analyze every part of the department, build a budget and a business plan, and start planning ahead several years. He said looking at it as a businessman, "If revenues drop, expenses have to drop." Mark Edwards agreed that expenses are up and revenue is down. He said even-though safety standards have to be met, the department needs to take a hard look at every expense to find ways to cut back. Experience Another question asked about the level of experience of the candidates and whethei previous experience is necessary to qualify for the job. Mark Edwards said it is not absolutely necessary. "l-he sheriff is mostly an administrative position, and a sheriff isn't even required to be POST certified. (POST stands for Police Officer Standards and Training.) On the other hand, he pointed out that it's good to have experience in law enforcement, or in corrections as he does, so the sheriff will know how things work and operate. Vern Ludwig said-that even though he has no law enforcement experience, he would work hard and learn the job, depending on an under sheriff to carry some of the law enforcement duties until he gets up to speed. He reiterated the importance of the business side of the office, plus public relations and other aspects that don't involve enforcing laws. Walt Okamoto stated that a sheriff must have a law enforcement background, "because he is going to be supervising other law enforcement officers, has to make judgments about their ability to do their jobs, and also review the prosecutorial documents to see whether or not all the constitutional guarantees have been met." Ryan Zollman agreed with Okamoto, adding, "You have to know what it's like to deal with an intoxicated driver at two o'clock in the morning, with three of his buddies smarting off in the car: He said the sheriff needs to know what his officers are supposed to be doing. He pointed out that if the sheriff's department is going to cut back on sfaffing, the sheriff will" need to be able to do law enforcement work to make up for fewer officers. Don Allen said that even though he doesn't have law enforcement experience, he knows he can learn the job, stating, "The sheriff is a chief executive officer. He should be doing budget and business plans, community relations, setting goals, improving the image, enforcing all the statutory laws, maintaining a relationship with the local, state and federal authorities and with businesses here." He said the first step of his plan is to get the office's financial house in order, then go to POST and learn the law enforcement job while his "under sheriff supervises other officers. Under Sheriff When asked about appointing an under sheriff and who it would be, all the candidates agreed that they would have a second in command. State statutes require a sheriff to have a "senior deputy" if the sheriff has more than one deputy. Whether that position is called "under sheriff, .... senior deputy" or "chief deputy," these are all just different names for the same position. Ryan Zollman stated at the New Meadows forum that he will not appoint Rich Green or Richard Borger as his senior deputy. Confrontation on health When the floor was opened to questions from the audience, a man whom we'll call Mr. X, stepped to the microphone and launched into a two-minute statement accusing all but one of the candidates of being too old and out of shape to be sheriff. He mentioned they will need to compete with 21-year-olds when going through POST. With the audience becoming impatient, he finally got to his question: "Why should I vote for someone who should be retired by now instead of the one person who is capable and ready to go?" When Walt Okamoto volunteered to answer the question first, Mr. X gruffly asserted, "Hogwash is not an answer!" Okamoto said he regularly sprints a thousand yards, and in the winter checks a trap line on snowshoes or skis, on a route covering about two miles a day. Vern Ludwig says he runs 30 minutes every day and is probably in the best shape he's been in his entire life. Don Allen said he thinks 50 is the new 40, and he's not worried about passing POST. Mark Edwards said age shouldn't be a deciding factor, and that a candidate's ability to do the job is what counts. Ryan Zollman said he's in good shape and can serve the county for the next twenty years. The audience applauded after each candidate's answer. When they were done, Mr. X asked Walt Okamoto to comment on what Okamoto had said about lies directed at him Okamoto). Okamoto asked if the marl was the one who wrote about him having two heart attacks and a stroke. The man answered that he was the one who had asked if the rumor going around is true, " confronting Okamoto with, 'nswer the Question! Hogwash is not an answer!" The two argued back and forth briefly, talking over each other, with Okamoto saying the rumors were not true and he is m good health, adding, "I don't think my health is any business of yours:' Mr. X's response was drowned out by applause, but he persisted after it died down, stating that a young deputy should not have to rely for backup on a 70-year-old man "who may or may not have a heart condition:' By this time the audience had lost patience with what was becoming a non-stop confrontational grilling. Boos and loud demands for Mr. X to "sit down"_ filled the room. He sat down. A question that was quickly answered was, "Who pays for POST?" The short answer is that state funds pay for it. A county employee is paid his/her salary while training at POST. Religion & the jail Pastor Geoff Cole brought up the recent suicide in the jail and asked about the substantial changes that have occurred to the access that pastors have to prisoners since the time when Bill Riehle was running the jail. Cole said, "They took all the religious materials off the shelf. They locked the Bibles up in a cabinet. They've made it very difficult for clergy like myself to go in and do any kind of ministry at all y He said it was now impossible to have any kindof interaction with a prisoner without a deputy present, which keeps prisoners from opening up and really discussing- personal issues they may have. He continued, saying to the best of his knowledge there had been no prisoners attending services for the past few weeks. "We went almost seven months without being allowed to hold Sunday morning services in the jail; he stated, adding, "I believe that the suicide was a direct result of changes that were made:' Murmurs of agreement came from audience members. Walt Okamoto pointed out that a jail must bear in mind the safety Of a pastor, but if elected, he will allow them in for regular visits. Ryan Zollman explained that state regulations don't allow religious counselors or teachers of any class, etc. to visit prisoners without supervision. He added: "We've made adjustments to provide Sunday services. In the future if it is possible to provide- weekly services, I would not be opposed to that, but you have to remember we have to abide by jail standards:' Zollman said Bibles are now back on the shelves at the jail. They were removed for a short time while an arrangement was worked out to meet jail standards. The jail had to make religious scriptures and materials available for all faiths if they were to .provide scriptures and materials for any faith, not just for one. Don Allen stated, "If rm sheriff, we're gonna meet the standards like Ryan said, and do what we have to, period. But you know what? When rm sheriff, church is back in!" Mark Edwards said religious services are a big part of what is done at the prison where he works. It helps rehabilitate people. Vern Ludwig affirmed what the other candidates had said about making religious serwces and counseling available within the limits of regulations. Next Forum The next forum will be May 3 at the Elementary School at 7:00. The candidates for County Assessor, County Prosecuting Attorney, and candidates for State Representative and Senator we be present to answer questions. a shop teacher at Council High School will 15e on the ballot. Your vote i needed to ensure this levy is passed. Council has not had a shop program for the past three years, due to cuts in state education funding. This levy will provide funds "to hire a shop teacher and make use of the newly renovated building. The Council Shop Coalition 'will not request that this levy be renewed in two years. Future funding for a shop teacher would come from the school district, combined with additional state funding that will return to the district once a full sequence of shop classes is offered. To help the project move forward, contact Mark Mahon at 741-9067. Royal Ranger Report The Rangers have had a challenging and fun month as they enjoyed the excellent spring weather and many outdoor activities. April began with an intensive block of instruction on First Aid for hypothermia. The following week Outpost #9 boarded the bus to South Exeter, where the boys were given a demonstration of the latest archery equipment and methods by Council own U.S. National Archery Champior Dave Feil. The boy, were kept spellbound b) Dave with stories of hk, hunting adventures anc past competitions, ant explained the workings o: the various types of bow,, and arrows. The second Saturday o: April was spent at Starke) Hot Springs cleaning the grounds of thousands o: pinecones and branche, tlpt had fallen over th course of the winte] Rangers scoured th grounds for debris, rakec and bagged leaves, anc were rewarded with great barbeque lunct prepared by Evelyr Snider. After lunch th{ Rangers were invited t( swim, and Commande Luke gave some valuabl instruction in lifesavin Special business a/Tbe Adams Ceu techniques. Ra planned to be for the upcorr trip were :eoff Cole agers who in canoes ing canoe ;sted for swimming skills. Many thanks to Evel 'n for her kind hospitalil and for the donation t(, the Royal Ranger progral a. Donations continue to com in for the "Man Stuff Yard ;ale" this coming Satu day, May 5th. This sale will raise money for uniforms and the five-cay Ranger Summer C amp in Stanley. They re looking for donation, of clean, usable items f(,r sale that would appeal Eo men of all ages. Items aeeded are tools, hunting md fishing gear, camping .'quipment, horse tack and packing gear, boats, gu as, motors, camo clothing and other maply things at would appeal to manly men. No dishes, dolls, bby clothes or china knick-knacks please. Donations can be taken to Luke Riehles Custom Leather shop on Highway 95, or call Pastor Geoff to schedule a pickup. If you would like more information on Royal Rangers, or if you wish to make a charitable donatiol to Outpost #9, please contact Pastor Geoff at 253-0222 or 741-0930. Rreices aeailable n Recerd... o B&W Copies $.15 each Send and receive faxes $1.00 per page Design Services - Low Volume Scanning Assist with e-mail File uploads and downloads Call fer de/ails and infermadienl .......................... FTI T.I[- 7] "v",77 ", "l .... 7r "r