Letter To The Editor: Fiscal Frugality And County Council — Support Your Local Sheriff

By TERRY GOLDMAN
Los Alamos

I have been mulling over Councilor (Kristin) Henderson’s comments on frugality vs. wasteful duplication in our County government and decided to be very impressed.

I will be even more so when she identifies the five Councilors that she has convinced to join her in resigning from the Council to avoid the wasteful ‘duplication’ of having seven Councilors instead of just one.

Regarding the Sheriff’s position, however, while I have not the slightest reason to suspect any corruption in the current or past Councils, I do recall the Founding Fathers strongly endorsing a robust set of checks and balances on elected officials. In that regard, if nothing else, the independence of a directly elected Sheriff, vs. a police department that must respond to a County Administrator, does not seem to me to represent any duplication, but instead a valuable and even necessary separation of powers.

It is apparent that the current Sheriff, unusual in being a credentialed law enforcement officer, has irritated the Council by seeking to provide full use of his capabilities on behalf of the citizens of the County and expanding the activities of his office. What is puzzling is why the Council seems to take offense at this and seeks to dismantle the office entirely, rather than simply saying no to the expansion if it considers that inadvisable, which is within its power.

The actions of these several Councilors offer a field day to conspiracy theorists, but at the very least raise eyebrows and questions. 

Furthermore, the citizens have been subjected to a display of unbelievable naivete, lack of empathy, or willful, even feigned, ignorance (take your pick) by an expression of shock (shock!) that the delivery of an eviction notice is a potentially highly dangerous event; this in a country (and county) famous for its freedom in the availability of firearms! Sadly, all of our officers of the law must always be aware of and prepared for violence directed against them in the course of their duties, even the most innocuous ones.

To be or to pretend to be unaware of this is highly disingenuous and an insult to the intelligence and understanding of the County citizenry. No one truly that naive, dull or duplicitous belongs on our Council.

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