Letters to the Editor – 11/2/16


November 2, 2016 - 12:00 AM

Dear editor and citizens of Allen County,
As your elected Republican candidate for county commissioner and your current commissioner, I have tried to remain neutral in the current race for Allen County sheriff between current Sheriff Bryan Murphy and Mike Aronson. I attended the forum last Wednesday and applauded both candidates for their presentations.
When asked in private, I tell people I am supporting Sheriff Murphy. He was my undersheriff during my last term as sheriff and did a great job for this county.
However, the news of Mike Aronson announcing his choice for undersheriff to be Jerod Froggatte, has forced me to speak out.
Mike Aronson called me at home several days after the primary election last August to tell me the only reason he had filed as an independent in the sheriff race was because he was afraid that Jerod Froggatte was going to be elected and he could not stand by for that. He told me he did not believe Froggatte would be good for Allen County.
Mike may tell you he did not say this, but I know of at least six others he repeated the exact same statement to. I believe voters have the right to know what Mike has stated and on what he has based his decision.
If Mike truly believed what he told others and me, what has changed? Was Mike telling me what he thought I wanted to hear or did he believe his statement? If he was lying to me and others, that is wrong. If he is now playing politics and overlooking his former position on Froggatte’s qualifications in order to garner votes, that is also wrong.
I represent Allen County and its citizens. I take that responsibility seriously and am concerned with the county and its citizens.
Sheriff Bryan Murphy has done a professional job as sheriff for the last four years. He has been a good steward of the county ensuring he does not exceed his budget and has handled the internal operations of the Sheriff Department in an efficient and professional manner. That is what I care about as your commissioner and a fellow citizen.
As a life-long Republican I am certainly going to vote for the Republican candidate, although if Bryan were a Democrat, based on his record, I would probably be quietly voting for him anyway. As a Republican, I also have taken great offense at the way Mike Aron-son entered the race and I have not minced words on how some in the Republican leadership have abandoned their roles and responsibilities. I told Mike that was my position when he called. It was not fair to any of the Republican candidates who were running at the time and very well could have affected the election.
Allen County is very lucky. We have great leadership in all the elected positions at the courthouse as well as great department heads. They and their staffs all make me as a commissioner look good. We are facing some hard economic times I believe and we do not need a new sheriff who by his own admission does not know how to manage a budget or how to manage a department with over 30 employees and be responsible for a budget of over $1 million.
Mike and Jerod are good people and great law enforcement officers and either one, someday I believe, will make great candidates for sheriff if they gain some experience and knowledge in the law enforcement profession. They can do this by taking on additional roles within their departments or supplement it with education. But someday is not today and I ask you to support our current Sheriff Bryan Murphy.
Respectfully to the citizens of Allen County,
Thomas R. Williams
 (KBI ret.)
Former Sheriff
Allen County,
Iola, Kan.

Dear editor,
As someone who is considering pursuing law enforcement as a career, I consider Sheriff Bryan Murphy a good role model.
I feel that he conducts the office with high morals, dedication and care. He makes me strive to better myself and provide the best service I can when I go into corrections and/or law enforcement. Although I’m not old enough to vote yet, I speak on behalf of my family and a large portion of the community that it would be an honor to have Sheriff Murphy continue the amazing work of protecting our county, towns and families.
Sheriff Murphy has taken the time out of his schedule to visit with me personally about my career choice. He told me why he enjoys his job and how thankful he is for people like myself who sent in letters that showed appreciation for a very difficult profession.
After speaking with Sheriff Murphy, it’s very clear why he is in law enforcement. Overall he loves serving his community in any way possible.
Caleb Barnhart,
Humboldt, Kan.

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