I read with interest the letter to the editor by Herman Bishop in the September 2 Transcript concerning the race for Sherriff. While I know that as a retired police officer, Mr. Bishop has a bias towards a fellow officer, I was left wondering if we had watched the same debate. Dan Bosley clearly had the command of the issues and even Mr. Bishop’s candidate said that he was one of the "best orators ” in the state. I believe that this is an important quality because the next Sheriff has to be a good communicator. He has to persuade others of his vision and plans. He has to negotiate contracts, sell his budget, apply and win grants, and be very clear as to the rules and regulations of the facility with inmates, guards and others. Being one of the best communicators in the state is a big plus.
However, it is not how you say something that is as important as what you say. Since Mr. Bowler didn’t propose any new ideas to meet the challenges of the jail for the third debate in a row, Mr. Bishop is left to be an apologist for his candidate and can only question the details of Dan Bosley’ s plan.
I find that I disagree with a lot of the interpretations of the debate from the letter. For example, Mr. Bishop wrote that a lot of the programs proposed are already at the jail. Yet Mr. Bosley has demonstrated many times that the services are not there and that more is needed. Again, you have to listen to the details of the plans to understand this. Mr. Bishop criticized Bosley for the budget cut over the past two years. Notwithstanding the fact that we have been in the worst recession in the past 80 years and all programs have been cut, Mr. Bosley has been the only one who has talked about the need to seek other funding sources. He has also proposed ways to cut expenses by using new technologies and changes in the operation. So far Mr. Bowler hasn’t proposed one budgetary change.
Mr. Bishop poses the question of whether the correctional officers are police because they direct traffic and wear a badge. I hardly think that directing traffic makes you a police officer. The Sheriff doesn’t investigate crime nor do they act as the police department. This is an administrative job.
One final note on the issue of the Sheriff being the top law enforcement officer in the county. I would ask Mr. Bishop this question: If he were a victim of a crime or saw one in progress, would he call the police department or the Sheriff’s office? Anyone who has attended any of the three debates that have been held can only come away with one inescapable conclusion. The only one of the two candidates who is qualified to become the next Sheriff based on their knowledge of the job, their experience in areas that matter, and their ability to think and communicate is Dan Bosley.
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Clarksburg: Election, May 27, noon to 7; town meeting, June 18
Williamstown: Election, May 13, 7-8; town meeting, May 20, 7 p.m.
The cities of Pittsfield and North Adams will hold municipal elections for mayor, city council and school committee in 2015
You may vote absentee: if you will be absent from your town or city on election day, have a physical disability that prevents you from voting at the polls or cannot vote at the polls because to religious beliefs.