The sheriff's race and D.C. politics

Jones backed for sheriff

I supported David Hill for much of his first term. Like many of us here in Nelson, I had high hopes for our rural county sheriff’s office.

I can no longer support him as sheriff. Candidate Hill is nowhere to be found these days. Broken promises and poor management of resources are just a few of the reasons. I approach my opinion as that of a veteran law enforcement officer from my days in Tennessee, much of that in a rural sheriff’s office like Nelson. Later I spent my remaining years in law enforcement administration, planning and budgets, supervising and hiring employees.

After leaving my career in law enforcement in 1990, I became an on-air television newsman. I reported in top 50 TV markets along with all of the major networks during my career. Over that 20-plus year span, I dealt with many of my former colleagues in law enforcement: U.S. Attorneys, sheriffs, patrolmen, FBI and beyond. People in these positions realized they are either elected or appointed to serve those who pay their salaries. It’s their duty to be open and honest. Inform the public regularly. Sheriff Hill has failed to do that. Releasing vital information days or weeks later to citizens isn’t ordinary, and frankly it isn’t safe. A department the size of Nelson generally won’t have a press officer. The sheriff generally speaks for him or herself. And should.

As a former law enforcement manager and supervisor, I can tell you having a 109 percent turnover rate like the Nelson Sheriff’s Office has had is no accident. Seldom is money the reason people choose to leave. Continuity of personnel is key. They get to know the people, the geography, what looks normal and what doesn’t. Twenty-four deputies, now 25 as of two weeks ago, have left. How is it all of these deputies must be lying or are wrong, and only Hill is right? Did all of these officers actually lie and fabricate stories, and only the sheriff has it right? After all, he did hire them. The answer is no. They can’t all be lying. It’s numerically impossible. It’s obvious mismanagement at the top.

Many Nelson neighbors asked why I support Daniel Jones for sheriff in this race. Because I know a real professional law enforcement person when I see one. He brings the honesty and openness we need to see. The transparency and management style a modern, but rural sheriff’s office needs.

My decision to support Jones wasn’t taken lightly. I felt it that important to put myself out there and support him. If you think things are going well, I can’t change your mind most likely. We never want to admit our candidate may not have been the best choice in retrospect. It’s disappointing and it’s a hard admission to ourselves. Thankfully we have the chance to change that in election years.

That’s why I’m supporting Daniel Jones for sheriff of Nelson County in the Nov. 5 election.

TOMMY STAFFORD

Roseland

Jones for Nelson sheriff

In 2015, months before his election, I had the opportunity to speak with the current sheriff, David Hill, numerous times on his plans for Nelson County Sheriff’s Office. He spoke of retention, community relations and enforcement methods and working toward accreditation and transparency in the department.

The retention during his term so far produced a tremendous turnover rate. Community relations have suffered because of this startling number, and enforcement suffered, as well as residents’ security. His efforts towards accreditation have failed as this cost money, and you need employees to accomplish this lengthy process.

A sheriff should work with and for country residents and his/her employees. A sheriff should be well versed and surround himself with a staff that can handle all areas for call of duty, as well as make sure deputies are trained to the highest level. A sheriff should be a good listener and responder.

I have more than 25 years of experience in state, local and federal law enforcement. Several years ago, I received a phone call from Sheriff Hill asking me if I wanted to work for him. I turned down his offer for less pay elsewhere, knowing the already existing problems within the department.

I voted for Sheriff Hill in the 2015 election but will not during this election. Law enforcement elections anywhere outside of Nelson County have seemed to be rid of the “good ol’ boy” voters, and I encourage you to vote for Daniel Jones on Nov. 5. He has every quality to be a great sheriff.

Vote for him knowing he will be working every day for a better Sheriff’s Office because that’s what you, as residents of Nelson County deserve. Good luck, Daniel; I know you will do great things.

JOHN W. WRIGHT

Arrington

Time to uphold the Constitution

In civics, we learned about the three branches of government. The Trump administration seems to think there are only two.

The Trump administration is saying that the Constitution’s provisions for impeachment are unconstitutional. The House of Representatives has the right to investigate the administration. And it doesn’t matter that the investigation is partisan and political. Politics isn’t something that just goes on at the ballot box; it happens every day as a tussle between competing interests, policies and parties. The core function of the Constitution is to create the rules whereby those competing interests get resolved hopefully for the good of the country and its citizens.

I hate to say it because it is going to be painful, but everybody needs to weigh in on this. It doesn’t matter if you are a Trump voter and supporter. And if this impasse goes to the Supreme Court and the conservatives, with gritted teeth, have to uphold the Constitution are you going to stand by when Trump, inevitably, claims Chief Justice Roberts is committing treason? If you don’t have the Constitution’s back its not going to have yours and you are going to be in real trouble.

LOUIS HARPSTER

Shipman

Dealmakers, Warren and Greta

The dealmaker is running on “empty.” He needs to find a deal very soon.

President Trump is now threatening to sue Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff as his mobster character comes to the forefront. He has always threatened to sue those trying to make him behave in a civil manner. I have given up on our ever succeeding in that; he has been and will always be the thug seeking to lie, cheat and bully his way to the top of the pile. Those who suck up to lowlifes will follow him no matter what he does to our Constitution or civil behavior in the country. Their lack of moral certitude is the main problem as we saw at Trump rallies in Minnesota and Louisiana last week.

On the other side of the coin, Trump lost several big court battles this past week. His financial records will soon have to be turned over to Congress and his method of financing his ridiculous border wall was deemed illegal to name two of the court battles he lost. Will we soon have direct evidence of his Russian money laundering? Perhaps he should be suing those mean old judges.

What Trump needs to do is exactly what letter writer David Parks suggested in this paper last week: Make a deal. Resign. Get out of our government in exchange for our letting him take all his criminality back to his real estate world where the corrupt wannabes will suck up to him.

Elizabeth Warren is getting closer to getting my vote next November with her statements and actions against the amoral tech giant, Facebook. I have yet to understand why any person or organization which values itself would even get involved with this company but it seems many do. I’m told that many people are addicted to social media, they live in an FoMO (Fear of Missing Out) world. They get their news and opinions from the posters on a completely unchecked social platform. The posters there are very unlikely to know near as much about what is going on in the world than a reporter from The Associated Press or Reuters. The “friends” they have on their social media system may be bots, programmed to feed the unwary stories that support their twisted view of reality. I’d implore all the citizens of the country to know what they are devouring is correct before passing it on to the next sucker. Facebook may be the worst of the lot with its agreement to freely let politicians lie in their paid ads, something more respectable media will at least challenge. Presidential candidate Warren wants to limit the reach of these media giants and that may be simpler than educating a gullible and fearful citizenry.

Across the country in Colorado, Greta Thunberg is repeating her demand that the adults in the room take responsibility for the damage they are doing to the environment that she and rest of the youth of today will have to live with. The fires racing across drought-stricken California are the warnings we Virginians should be heeding as we suffer through our own climate change-driven drought. A hefty tax on all fracked gas passing through the state including Dominion Energy’s would be a step in the right direction. We need to do so much better for the children.

MIKE TABONY

Gladstone

It’s all smoke and mirrors

We, as a nation, are living high on a false premise. Gone is the strong manufacturing underpinning of the “Greatest Generation.” We have transferred our greatness to foreign lands, and “We the people” appear not to realize it or care.

Foreign countries are not to blame for our trade imbalances — “We the people” are. Many of the product names are familiar American brands, but the products are no longer American-made and the defense capacity of the nation impaired.

Not so long ago, there was a vibrant textile industry in the United States, but with the sweep of the hand it was gone. Appliances keep their American names as factories became offices handling the product transfers from foreign producers to American retailers. Plymouth, Pontiac and Mercury were replaced by Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and Kia. Corporations, now international, make money while Americans lose jobs. Suddenly, political action committees and quiet, political money-funneling organizations came alive. The cabal of international corporate business and American politics was born along with the required “Deep State” elements in the federal executive branch. Closed factories put people out of work and force dependence upon the federal government and its benevolence. Did a vote just get bought? We as a people tolerate costly trade imbalances that put Americans out of work and add to our debt. This certainly is not in the best interest of the United States of America. The “press” that should be accomplishing their intended critique of the government role has become a player. Should we not ask, “For whom is it in the best interest?”

The national manufacturing situation has improved, but the American people must seek to understand the issues before the nation and line the voting stations to fulfill their responsibility to govern.

BOB DEWEY

Wintergreen

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