Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Rethink endorsement, Hal

EDITOR:

Regarding the press release dated Sept. 14, on page A10 of the Mountain Democrat. The release was written by paid consultant Dan Dellinger announcing the endorsement of former County Sheriff Hal Barker. I think Hal Barker is a good guy, but he did not read the press release, or the ballot statements of each candidate before endorsing.

ln my opinion, Barker’s endorsement is in conflict with his own values and experiences in working with the Board of Supervisors during his terms as the Sheriff.

First, Barker states,”No issue is as important to me as public safety,” so he endorses a candidate having no record of public safety service, never being involved in public safety service experiences, including leadership or public safety funding. In contrast, candidate Brian Veerkamp has over 30 years of successful experience and leadership in all aspects of public safety, including funding, procurement and management.

Secondly, the paid campaign consultant of the press release quotes Barker as saying, “Fixing our broken business climate and creating good jobs is the most important issue facing us as a community today.” Hiring Richard Barb, reportedly
a successful small business owner, to tackle our economic problems is “the best choice for our county.”

Hopefully, Mr. Barker should know that supervisors are elected, not hired, the same as County Sheriffs. Barb is looking for a job. Veerkamp is looking to continue to volunteer, serving the community with his job experience and leadership.
Veerkamp will not accept a salary or benefits, returning the earned income to the taxpayers.

Hal Barker also knows that it takes a board majority, not a single person to pass items on the Board of Supervisors’ agenda for approval, and that takes board experience and leadership to convince the board majority on important issues. I wonder if Hal Barker read or spoke the quotes that are attributed to him by the press release writer.

Better rethink this endorsement, Hal.

BOB EDWARDS
Placerville

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 5 comments

  • Karen WoodrellOctober 01, 2012 - 9:54 am

    Good job, Bob. I agree.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phillip VeerkampOctober 01, 2012 - 10:03 am

    Good job, Bob. Me too.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Jim RiordanOctober 01, 2012 - 11:38 am

    I too think a lot of Hal. He gets things done and recognizes those who will also get things done. I too believe Mr. Barb is the best man for this Job. I have nothing whatsoever against Mr. Veerkamp and it is commendable to refuse compensation. However, from what I have read, Mr. Veerkamp's experience is mainly government related, with fire agencies which I also deeply respect. However, I can't remember hearing any of those positions having anything to do with a Law enforcement side of "public safety" in a manner which would make him more qualified than Mr. Barb. Perhaps Hal was referring to his own knowledge of Mr. Barb's dedication in supporting our Sheriff and our armed forces, both of which Mr. Barb does. I would like to add that Mr. Barb already has a job, one of his own making. he knows the importance of keeping businesses in this County and the importance of attracting more new business. At this point in time, I believe fresh perspectives and a willingness to work in a productive manner with every other Board member are things Mr. Barb brings to the table. Lots of experience in working with large bureaucracies which have left us in the shape we are in today just does not mean much to me anymore. (Although Our firefighters are right up there with Law enforcement as my top priorities for government spending). This in no way is meant to take away from Mr. Veerkamp whose proven family history and contributions to our County cannot be denied.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Robert Van GilderOctober 03, 2012 - 2:10 pm

    Maybe Hal didn't read the endorsement. Maybe he did.(Hal read it again) But Mr. Riordan's comment: " Lots of experience in working with large bureaucracies which have left us in the shape we are in today just does not mean much to me anymore." Is puzzling to me. Maybe Mr. Riordan hasn't worked with large bureaucracies for the benefit of others? I had the opportunity of being on the Camino School Board for eight years with Mr. Veerkamp. Running a school district is very much like running any other business with one exception: the payoff is better. I do not know Mr. Riordan, but I do, respect his comments. I know Brian Veerkamp and I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Barb at the League of Women Voter's "debate" at the library. I commend them both for running. It takes guts to put yourself out before the public. I support Brian Veerkamp in this race.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mike JoyOctober 03, 2012 - 3:08 pm

    Well said, Bob!! I agree!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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