The race for county commissioner seat in District 2 is going to be an interesting one.
In the past, letters to the editor indicate Chris Blackman is a very intelligent, well liked individual. And I am sure this is true.
The disturbing part of the letters were the indications that Mrs. Blackman was campaigning for commissioner in order to achieve the same financial goals that Sheriff Turner has been fighting for almost since the day he took office. Goals that the commissioners at that time, including Mrs. Blackman's adversary, Perry Dozier, did not agree with.
Sheriff Turner has not been able to "bulldoze" the commissioners into letting him determine where and how the county's money is budgeted.
It is interesting that candidate Blackman's husband is a Walla Walla County sheriff's captain, and her budget philosophies appear to be the same as Sheriff Turner's.
In the Q&A section on July 23 she stated the "need to elect candidates with the drive to address concerns in a very transparent, and open-minded manner." Mrs. Blackman's "open-mindedness" appears questionable.
Since one of the commissioners is delegated to be the liaison with the Sheriff's Office regarding budget matters, one would like to think that if Mrs. Blackman was elected she would see to it she was not assigned that job due to her husband's job. While she might be well informed about Sheriff's Office matters, the knowledge could be easily outweighed by biases. Also, due to her husband being a sheriff's captain, one would expect her to excuse herself from any decisions affecting the department due to a conflict of interest. While it might be legal for her to vote on Sheriff's Offce matters, it would be morally wrong due to her relationship with the department.
Unfortunately, whether she wins or loses, Mrs. Blackman is going to come out the loser in this election. If she wins, she will either be ineffective at the job, due to bowing out on issues regarding the Sheriff's Office. If she doesn't bow out she will lose respect from the voters as she will be perceived as being a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office every time she votes in favor of requests from the office.
Mrs. Blackman would have better served herself and the people in her voting district if she had waited and run for county commissioner after her husband had retired from the Sheriff's Office.
I would urge all those voting for county commissioner in District 2 to vote for Perry Dozier, who has already proven himself in his first term as county commissioner.