Last week I encouraged people to send me questions and I would answer them. So, here are some questions that people sent me. I am always open and accessible for your questions and I am always happy to talk about this campaign, my experience and my vision for the future of the Sheriff’s Office.
How come you do not wear your Police uniform in any pictures? -Erika (East Peoria)
This is a great question. Police agencies have policies against wearing a Police uniform for political reasons. It is not the place of a Government organization to “endorse” a political candidate, using the uniform gives that impression. I am very proud to be a Police Officer, but when running for a public office, it is not appropriate, and would I never want to use by position to intimidate anyone.
I belong to a union for work, and I would like to know how you would work together with the union at the Sheriff’s Office? Do you have experience working with unions? -Doug (Creve Coeur)
I have worked with unions for many years. As a business owner, I worked setting up Sound/Lighting/Video productions all across the Nation. We landed in many different cities, and I had to work with sometimes 4-6 different unions at the chosen venues. I had to make sure that I knew the contracts, and that I did not do anything to cause a grievance or create tension. I worked closely with those unions, and had a great working relationship. I also worked with budgets of all sizes, deadlines, and it was my job to create and negotiate contracts.
The Sheriff’s Office has more than one union and I believe that it is important to sit down with union leaders and have an honest conversation about any potential issues so that they can be worked out. As the Sheriff, I want our staff to know that they are heard, valued, and appreciated. I want to make sure that they have the tools necessary to do their jobs safely and effectively.
Are your kids involved with your campaign? -Stan (Pekin)
The certainly are and they love it! I have 3 boys ages 10,11,13. They have enjoyed walking in the parades, going to events, and of course even helping in the office with some projects. I chose early on to not post their pictures all over social media. I want to protect them as much as possible when it comes to politics because, as you can imagine, politics is not very friendly, and can be downright disgusting at times. I also do not want to use them as a pawn in this election. This does not mean that people that choose to use their kids are doing anything wrong, this is a decision that is best for our family.
How do I get a yard sign and window sticker for you? -Gretchen (Pekin)
We would love to send you a sticker and come and place a sign in your yard. Please send us an email to email@example.com. Thank you!
Did you grow up in Tazewell County? -John (Delavan)
I did! I grew up in East Peoria. I have lived in Tazewell County all but 4 years of my life. We currently live in Pekin.
What do you think is your biggest strength? -Julie (Pekin)
I would have to say being a visionary. I love to lead, listen, and I love to find solutions to difficult problems.
Why should people vote for you instead of your opponent? Why did you choose Unity as a message in your campaign? -Jenny (Morton)
I respect my opponent, and I have made a commitment to not only run a clean campaign, but to not throw mud at my opponent. I believe that I have what it takes with my leadership abilities, business experience, and experience with unions, budgets and employees to lead the Sheriff’s Office. I am committed to bringing unity to the Office to not only unite the public with the Office, but to work on strained relationships between the staff and the administration. If I did not believe in the men and women who faithfully serve in the Sheriff’s Office, I may have chosen not to run for this office. We need a fresh perspective and new leadership to move the office forward. The Sheriff’s Office has had the same style of command for 40 years, and we must look for new ways to reach our communities and be more transparent with those whom we serve. Experience is where we have been and what we know. A vision is what we need and it is how we grow and succeed.
I chose the word Unity as a priority in my campaign. I can not and will not attack my opponent as it goes against the very vision I have for the future. It would be impossible to unite people if I choose to tear down someone else. This starts at the top. The person responsible for leading this office, has the ability to set the attitude, encourage and develop, and to implement a vision that will change the way we do things in Tazewell County.
Were you an announcer for WCIC years back? -Mike (Marquette Heights)
I was! I speak more about that experience several blog posts back. I worked as a radio announcer for many years for WCIC radio, and I co hosted a radio show called “The House of Faith” for several years. This was a great experience and an outstanding radio station. See photo below (wow I had hair..I forgot I ever had any!)
Do you attend a church? -Rachel (Morton)
We attend Northwoods Community Church in Peoria. We love Pastor Cal and believe that is where we are called to be at this time. Northwoods has not only been a wonderful support for Courtney and I, but the boys love the church and look forward to going.
When is the election? -Doug (South Pekin)
The election is March 20th, 2018. I have a Republican challenger, so this election is very important, and we really need people to get out and vote! The winner of the primary will move on, the other will not.
I am a Democrat and have been my entire life. Why should I vote for you? -Andrew (Green Valley)
Andrew, I will work hard for you and everyone in this county regardless of your political affiliation, beliefs, or your background. I am not a Sheriff just for the Republicans, but for all citizens. I take that commitment very seriously, and ask for your vote!
What do you believe is the biggest issue facing our County right now? -Jake (Washington)
I believe that would be addiction awareness and recovery. I have been passionate about this issue for the past couple of years. For a long time, people have always thought of a Heroin addict as a homeless person that lives under a bridge somewhere. Addiction to pills, Heroin, or other drugs, has become a problem so massive that it is being called an epidemic. Many “politicians” have started talking about this subject just for the sole purpose of getting votes. This is a problem that we must take action on NOW, and not just talk about. I want to not only expand our education efforts, but I want to expand a Safe Passage program county wide that offers immediate assistance to those in need of help when they need it. I want to take the treatment into the jail and work with those who are locked up to get the help they need. I have a plan to work with several groups to start this process as soon as I am elected. This will give us time to implement a plan to kick off the program the day that I am sworn in.
I am not naive to think that we will solve this problem here in Tazewell County. I do know that we must start somewhere, and do our best to tackle this problem with the help of people throughout the county and beyond.
Thank you to everyone who sent us questions. I love having the opportunity to share my thoughts with you, and I believe that this blog is a tremendous way to communicate who I am to you. If you would like me to come speak to your group, I would love to do that. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your support, and for believing in me!