Letters to the editor

June 8, 2005

The sheriff responds

To the editor:

Re: response to recent letters.

In response to the recent letters let me start out by saying that I really enjoy the dialog that has been initiated by my well meaning critics. The dialogue has become both informative, appreciated, and a nice fifteen minute break from my ten to fifteen hour days.

Mr. Mickie Campbello of Jonesboro speculated that my research was possibly done by a third party and took a guess at who he thought it was. As much as I hate to break up the conspiracy theory, the research is all mine that was done over a period of years to prepare me for the office that I aspired to long ago. I put a lot of effort into this research of the sheriff's office and appreciate Mr. Campbello recognizing my efforts. The intent of answering these letters is not to get into a contest with anyone but to

counter misinformation with factual information. The sixteenth century Japanese sword master Miyomoto Musashi said, "The warrior is one who uses the pen and sword with equal skill."

I am extending a personal invitation to Mr. Campbello to ride with my Cobra unit and see what they do first-hand which will answer any doubts he may have about their conviction rate. I created Cobra to put pressure on street level dealers, users, and those who have now threaten our quality of life. They were also created because in addition to other concerns I raised about the drug task force unit, it really bothered me that they only work Monday through Fridays with holidays and most nights off. The Cobra unit works when the criminals work, and that is not bankers hours.

In reference to the response from my long time friend Mr. Sibernacle concerning the subject that the chief law-enforcer should be supervised by an elected panel, I wish for him to consider the following: The sheriff is the only law-enforcement representative of the people. A chief of police is appointed by mayor and counsel, or a county commission. The director of the GBI and state patrol is appointed by the governor.

However, only the Sheriff is elected by the people. Because the sheriff answers to the people every four years, they stand a better chance of getting faster service with less excuses. Because the sheriff is an elected official he has to live in the county (our county police chief lives in Henry county) which gives him more than a vested interest in reducing crime. Even though the sheriff is elected, there is a governing body that oversees his actions and that is the general assembly. We must remember that the sheriff is a state constructional officer that derives his authority from the state not the county. If the sheriff commits a crime, the law provides for the governor to step in as we saw in Fulton county. Think about it, if the sheriff was forced to work for the county commission, who would investigate them if they step outside the law?

Sheriff Victor Hill

Questions county spending

To the editor:

Chairman Eldrin Bell:

On Monday June 6, 2005, the Clayton News-Daily reported that you intend to hire a public relations specialist and a constituent services coordinator at a cost of $115,000 to the taxpayers. You are openly acknowledging that the County has grown and that the demand for constituent services has increased dramatically. You are saying that County Government needs to be responsive on a more timely basis. Nevertheless, you and Sen. Terrell Starr worked to stall HB806, which would have given the residents of Clayton County two additional Commissioners at a cost that would not have exceeded $40,000. Where is your logic Mr. Chairman? This is another case of Bell Voodoo Economics.

Additionally, you and your three puppet Commissioners continue to deny the District Attorney, the Sheriff, the Solicitor General and the Magistrate the budget increases that they need to serve the citizens of Clayton County. The lone voice of reason is Commissioner Wole Ralph.

Your only substantive justification for these two positions is and I quote " I get close to 300 calls per week." It is our intention to request through the Open Records Act an opportunity to review the number of constituent calls that you have received from Jan. 1, 2005 through June 3, 2005. It will be interesting to see if your assessment of constituent calls is accurate. You have already hired a driver and a special assistant, something that none of the previous Chairmen needed.

Stan Byars

Save Our Community