Robin and I feel a need to express our support for the re-election of Columbia County Sheriff Walt Hessler.
Sheriff Hessler has made many improvements to the Sheriff's Department since taking office four years ago. He was elected because many in Columbia County were unhappy with the previous regime that had arrested a farmer and prevented others from protecting their land during an extensive fire. These were people who had the ability and equipment to protect their land.
Mark Franklin, Sheriff Hessler's opponent in this race, was an integral part of the previous regime. Since taking office, Sheriff Hessler has upgraded the jail to hold more inmates, upgraded the communication system throughout Columbia County, upgraded the vehicle fleet, upgraded the personal weaponry. The list could go on.
In a letter to the Union-Bulletin Aug 12, Mitchell Cooper stated many deputies have been trained and then left the department mad and frustrated with the policies instituted by the present sheriff. This is incorrect. Since Sheriff Hessler took office only two people who have completed the training academy course have left the department. His reference to our deputies as deadwood was uncalled for and is wrong.
Did anyone notice the estimated $ll million marijuana seizure? We suspect the lead agency on that seizure was the Columbia County Sheriff's Department.
Our recommendation: Re-elect Sheriff Walt Hessler.