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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.