Questions to ask local candidates

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What do I need to know about candidates for sheriff and judges? Am I even qualified to ask questions about these positions?

Do you believe that selecting leaders for those positions sounds like a matter best left to others? Think again. For everyone who’s ever watched an episode of “Law & Order,” you know how important both offices are to protecting our rights and us.

That’s why you should hear the candidates explain how they plan to conduct this vital public business, and to answer questions from the moderator and you.

So what DO you need to know about your candidates for sheriff? Here are a couple of topics to consider:

• What are the most significant law enforcement issues facing Fayette County over the next term?

• Given our budget constraints, how would you would stretch our taxpayer dollars and still deter crime?

• What is biggest need of the Sheriff’s Department now, and what would you do to fill that need?

OK, you say, those make sense, and I’d certainly be interested in hearing our next sheriff respond to those issues, and who has the best plan to overcome them within a reasonable budget.

But judges — other than having a law degree and some experience, aren’t they all about the same? What should citizens ask a judicial candidate?

• What’s your position on judicial activism?

• Which is more important to becoming a judge: the number of cases you’ve handled as an attorney, or the type of cases you’ve handled?

• How can you reduce the time law enforcers must spend in court (so they can be patrolling and investigating)?

• Please describe an ethical dilemma you’ve faced and how you resolved it.

Fayette County has a number of qualified candidates running for sheriff and judge of the municipal and state courts. They share some similar qualifications and experiences, but also have some distinct differences you should understand before casting your vote; all three races will be decided on the July 31st primary.

To help Fayette County voters decide whom they believe is best qualified, the Fayette County Issues Tea Party will host a forum for judicial and sheriff candidates on Thursday, June 14th at 6:30 p.m.

The forum will be held at the Harvest Community Christian Church, 383 North Glynn (Ga. Highway 85). Look for the strip mall with the bright yellow Mexican restaurant.

Bob Ross

Peachtree City, Ga.