My neighbors and I have been following the issues that have been brought to light concerning Mike Smitley’s decision to run for the sheriff of Cedar County that have appeared in your newspaper.
Mr. Smitley, I will voice my opinion one time and will not respond to the unprofessional bantering that you have engaged in with a county resident who had the right to voice his opinion without discrimination. I don’t care what laws he may or may-not have broken. He still has the right to voice his opinion. Your reaction to his comments showed us your true character and I do not believe that you have the professional dignity that it takes to handle the job. This is the only time I will speak publicly on the matter, so do not try to suck me into a debate.
You spoke of the candidate questionnaire as being too probing and comparing it with a pre-employment background check. I read your response and find it to be the standard liberal rhetoric that I can read in U.S.A.Today or see on CNN News.
The candidate profile that you attacked so viciously and refused to respond to was answered by all of the other candidates. They may not have agreed, but they were wise enough to answer the questions; knowing full-well, if they did not answer, it would make them look like they were hiding something from the voters.
A candidate questionnaire gives the citizens of this county a look into your background so we can make the decision that best suits our expectations of your job duties. You will be working for us, the citizens and voters of this county, not some unknown company with private employee records. We must know our sheriff and his personal background because we will be putting our faith, our money and possibly our life in his hands as the chief law enforcement officer of the county.
Most of us know the other candidates for sheriff because they have lived here all or most of their lives. We have visited with them, gone to school, church or attended public functions with them. They have worked for our sheriff’s department and we have an insight into how well they performed their job duties.
Your written profile looks impressive to some, but not to a lot of us. When you narrow the playing field to us local folks who have lived their lives in this county and are naturally suspicious of outsiders trying to take advantage, you have made a grave error. We are very suspicious of your intentions and have a lot of questions about your integrity.
Your expectations of your subordinates sounds like it was written right from a police academy textbook and does not sound like a sincere approach to the problems that face our county today. Your ideas and management of the department might work in a city or larger, richer county. Trying to implement those ideas too fast would soon alienate you from our county officials, subordinates and the voters who are hiring you by electing you.
So, Mr. Smitley, tell us who you really are, without all of the varnish. Answer Kenny Long’s questions as he professionally presented them to you and stop making yourself look so foolish.
Ms. J. W. (Name withheld by request)