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Letters to the Editor

Jasper County needs Hoffman as its next sheriff

To the editor:

We have a real showdown (pardon the pun) between John Halferty and Steve Hoffman who both would like to be our Sheriff in Jasper County.  It is inspiring to see so many folks coming out on both sides, putting stock in this race, and making their voices heard.  I will lend mine to the fray.

What should a Sheriff be to us?  It would be nice if things were like on the Andy Griffith Show, but that is probably not going to work nowadays.  I am also sure we prefer not to live in fear of our sheriff and feel like we are in a police state.  That could lead to some bad situations.  

Sure, it is the responsibility of the Sheriff to see that the law is being observed, and enforce it when required.  But how a sheriff goes about that and relates to those he has been entrusted has a major bearing on whether he is effective.

A good sheriff must temper law enforcement with intelligence, sound judgement, and even restraint at times.  As the highest elected official in the county, a Sheriff must be accountable to those that have entrusted him with that position.  He must be an excellent administrator, be fiscally responsible, and be an effective role model to those that he supervises, and demand the highest standards from them.  

Of great importance, he has a fiduciary responsibility to be an effective representative of the people in which he serves, both within and outside the county.  He must always respect the concerns of his constituents, and be able to graciously accept comments, both negative and positive.  He must have a good understanding that effective law enforcement involves the citizens, and cannot be done well as a “lone wolf.”    

And he must have the confidence and trust of those he serves, so the people will feel he is a trusted friend they can count on.   He must inspire this confidence so that the citizens will watch out for him and his deputies, as they watch out for us.

Of the two candidates we have to chose from, I have concluded that Steve Hoffman best possesses these qualities.  Character is reflected in conduct, and Steve has proven that he is a man of good character.  He has solid experience, extensive training in many areas, a proven track record of being fiscally responsible, and is an effective administrator.  

He is grounded in his faith, and a believer in the value of each person.  He understands that being entrusted to be our Sheriff demands the highest standards of accountability.  He has extensive experience interacting with other government agencies, and has earned their trust.  

And of major importance, he takes time to listen to others without looking down on them.  He is not quick to judgement, and will not allow emotions to cloud that judgement.   He is a consummate professional and, at the same time, can be relied on as a trusted friend.

We need Steve Hoffman to be our Sheriff in Jasper County.

Clifford Downing


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