Letter to the editor: Let’s surprise ourselves with high primary turnout

On Tuesday, Aug. 14, voters will go to the polls to cast Primary Election ballots. The General Election in November follows.
It’s summer and primaries can seem less significant than the “real” election in the autumn. But I am hopeful that we will surprise ourselves by how many of us find a few minutes to participate on Primary election day — choosing who we most want to represent us and to thereby enhance the strength and well-being of our community.
I hold out hope that as a community we are discovering the facts of our candidates’ records, abilities, values and intentions in order to inform our vote.
An example of a race that deserves our knowledge and decision-making interest is that of Addison County Sheriff. What do we know of how our lives are affected by that official’s role and expertise? I learned much when I read Peter Newton’s brochure. Now I know more about the choice I will make when I vote. Mr. Newton’s brochure outlines facets of sheriff duties and activities, and his qualifications, including:
•  Instructor of patrol procedures — that would require deep knowledge;
•  Emergency medical and life support experience — ready when trauma strikes;
•  Patrol officer — knows the on the ground work;
•  Department lieutenant — skilled in leadership;
•  Little League baseball coach — someone who connects with kids.
And Mr. Newton’s brochure lists his goals as the next sheriff, including: maintain a well-trained staff; add an investigator for the country state’s attorney; partnering with WomenSafe; multipoint expansion of  DUI safety; add K9 to help combat heroin and other drugs; create a cadet community involvement program.
There is more, too, to know about the person, not the least of which are his accessibility, compassion, integrity, treatment of others (especially vulnerable persons), work ethic, open mindedness and professionalism.
There is so much to know just to be sure of one vote, one influence on our community.
I am doing my homework to be sure I understand each and every candidate as thoroughly. I hope I can find the information I still lack. I am glad for knowledgeable neighbors who know the histories and records. I am appreciative of the press, local forums, and candidates who understand how very much we need to hear from them: the truth, their history, their strengths, and a good square estimation of what he or she can and will truly do for us as they put their print on who we are and where we go as a community.
Letitia Allyson Wulff

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