Letter: Weber is the clear choice in Osceola County
I am writing in regard to the upcoming primary election and particularly the Osceola County sheriff's race between Doug Weber and Matthew Block.
I do not know Mr. Block and I can't speak to his ability as an officer, but I have read his material that is public. He claims that, as sheriff, he would do patrols and work nights. I have to question how doing that will help, since there is a tremendous amount of administrative work required in the sheriff role. It makes me wonder if he really knows how much is involved in the job.
Unfortunately, law enforcement is more than traffic stops and preventing burglaries. With the sad increase in domestic violence, drug use and even home foreclosures, there is much more investigative work and serving of legal papers that has to be done by the sheriff's office. Much of that work falls to Doug or Kevin Wollmuth, and is in addition to the normal administration of the jail and the staff. Then there is the budget to prepare, as well as other duties. I think it may be an empty promise to say that a different sheriff would work nights and go on more patrols.
And what about putting officers on call in the evenings? Is that a solution? Do we want to have an officer in Ocheyedan on call when a domestic abuse situation or a bar fight breaks out in Sibley or Ashton? Or how about just advertising that Osceola County allows drunk drivers and burglaries between the hours of 1 and 5 a.m.?
Of course I am being absurd, but this proposal is not worth the flyer that it was printed on. Will it take somebody dying in a preventable situation before we realize the importance of 24/7 coverage? Remember that the highway patrol isn't covering up here 24 hours. As a member of the city council, I can promise that if this were implemented, I would move to have Sibley's participation in Unified Law reviewed and possibly ended. That would be a terrible move for the entire county, but Sibley residents need the coverage they are paying for.
As far as I can tell, this race is about attacking Sheriff Weber because he didn't give in to one man on an issue a few years ago. That man is on a crusade to destroy Doug and anyone else that dares to voice an opinion against him. That is what the recent lawsuit was about, and that is what this election is about. Are we really going to sit by and allow this to occur?
Doug Weber and his staff are honest, hardworking people who deal with the law. Sometimes that involves making judgments and taking action that is unpopular. Doug doesn't allow his friendships and political relationships to cloud his judgment -- even if it costs him some of those relationships. We need an independent person in this role. We need his experience and expertise. We need to know that one man or organization is not controlling his moves behind the scenes.
I am voting for experience, leadership and independence. I am voting for Doug Weber.