Letter - Turner not afraid to challenge status quo


Be it deliberate or careless, I think Sheriff John Turner’s detractors have lost their situational awareness (July 13 letter).

The records prove Sheriff Turner builds coalitions; he does not divide them. He’s bolstered the Search and Rescue team; he initiated the successful Sheriff’s Foundation; he’s improved communication by hosting quarterly meetings in four of our communities, and he’s earned the respect and support of key leaders such as retired Walla Walla Police Chief Chuck Fulton, and current city Police Chief Scott Bieber.

As the writer eloquently confirmed, Sheriff Turner is poised, charismatic and articulate. And more: He’s community-oriented; he’s experienced; he’s made verifiable progress in the reduction of crime; and he creates a level of cooperation in our communities few can match.

Importantly, Sheriff Turner is not afraid to uphold the law equitably for everyone, and to say and do what he needs to for the residents’ protection and safety. And herein, in my opinion, lies the rub.

I proudly worked for Walla Walla County as emergency management director. I liked my job, though it was increasingly apparent that, although few in number, a closed circle of county elected officials formed close ties of loyalty and mutual support. To be clear, to challenge anyone within that circle, even though a proposal had merit, meant trouble.

Sheriff Turner challenges the status quo when it needs to be challenged. He isn’t afraid to say what needs to be said — and he’s met with the same reaction I personally witnessed. If proposals or ideas don’t meet the approval of the circle, they are passed over, and the proponent is out of favor.

So I wonder, did some folks simply not get what they wanted out of the sheriff?

Is the writer of the July 13 letter, along with fellow detractors, attempting to perfect their illusions of the situation, or turn their interpretations into real stories?

Do they merely hope to realize the possibilities of propaganda? Whatever the motive — be it that they are threatened by the expertise and experience of Turner, or that they believe the sheriff has an unfair advantage over the candidate they support because of Turner’s credentials and accomplishments — they need a healthy dose of reality.

Sheriff Turner has been accountable to the taxpayers from day one of his service as our sheriff.

He has dramatically improved law enforcement in this community, and his overall qualifications for sheriff are orders of magnitude over the other candidates. Re-elect Sheriff Turner.

Gayla Ernst

Walla Walla


Grandma76032 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Your letter is spot-on, Miss Ernst. That closed circle has been trying to keep control for years. Many people call them the good old boys, but my neighbor always calls them the Mafia. They only want people elected to public office in Walla Walla County that they can completely control. That's why they are pushing Mr. Duncan for county commissioner, even though he's only lived in the county for a couple of years.


WWFYI 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Jim Duncan is the most qualified and knowledgeable candidate in his district to be a County Commissioner just like Commissioner Jim Johnson was 2 years ago. He is not in a closed circle, good old boy club or a mafia. We've seen Jim Duncan on several occasions as the Director of Emergency Management working closely and collaboratively with the Sheriff's Office, all of the other law enforcement and fire agencies, county and city public works, Cities of College Place, Waitsburg, Walla Walla Mayors and Managers/Administrators and the County Board of Commissioners.


Chas 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I respect your opinion. I've not personally met this "poised, charismatic and articulate" Sheriff. Elective offices become for too many a cult of personality.

The "status quo" for a Sheriff is Justice. No more, no less.

$235,000 paid for wrongful termination. Egregious use of an employee medical record, while still under process.

I'm not finding Justice, here. All those other great qualities, and I admit they sound like great qualities, but they are worthless without the understanding that Justice is not a "thing" but how we live our lives justly.


mythoughts 8 months ago

Re: wrongful termination They settled out of court to avoid paying to defend a case that started long before Turner was Sheriff and would have been easily won..

More and more half truths. These people will never stop. It's disgraceful and childish to say the least.


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