Many residents would like to believe we live in a nice, quiet bedroom community that makes lists such as "nicest small town in America." The fact is we have an ever expanding drug and gang problem. One that continues to erode our nice, quiet bedroom community each and every day. Three murders this year should be ample evidence that we have a rapidly escalating problem.
We also appear to have a problem with biased news reporting and politically motivated county commissioners.
Having attended the first public meeting of the Walla Walla Sheriff's Foundation last Wednesday, I learned that the Foundation was formed in order to give concerned citizens the means and ability to provide funds to the Sheriff's Office to purchase equipment, supplies and training not funded by and outside the scope of the existing county budget. Things like the purchase and support of K9s, training and uniforms for reserve officers.
Sheriff Turner was asked to give a presentation at that meeting about current and future needs of the Sheriff's Office so that the Foundation would be able to prioritize fund raising efforts.
I expect a news journalist to provide an accurate and unbiased accounting. The article on the front page "Sheriff seeks huge budget hike" was a blatant misrepresentation of events.
The U-B clearly does not support Sheriff Turner but the majority of voters placed their support with him and continue to do so. We are exceptionally fortunate to have someone of his caliber looking out for the safety of our community. It gives one pause to wonder the motivations of the U-B in being so disrespectful to Sheriff Turner by disbursing distortions of his efforts to improve public safety.
While I applaud the efforts of our county commissioners to be fiscally responsible, I question their retention of approximately 30 percent of taxpayers' money while our law enforcement officers are understaffed and dealing with antiquated, inadequate and, many times, non-functioning equipment. We must protect those who are protecting us by providing them the tools they need.
We can pay now or we can pay one heck of a lot more later.