Reluctant political open letter | Letters

I do not “Rant and Rave.” I rarely talk politics, and I cannot remember ever writing a letter to a newspaper. I do not enjoy arguments and conflict. Despite this fact, after attending the League of Women Voters candidate forum on San Juan Island last week, I must break from this practice. While there, I listened in disbelief as Jeff Asher explained that the reason I (and 21 others) voted, as a member of the Sheriff’s guild, to support Ron Krebs for sheriff was because I wanted to “go along to get along.” I understand that he repeated this theory at the forum on Orcas Island this week.

Let me set the record straight. I voted to support Ron Krebs because I respect him and feel he is by far the best candidate for the job.

For Asher to imply that 25 out of 26 guild members did not support Asher because they feared retaliation from the sheriff is not only ridiculous, it is insulting to every deputy, dispatcher, sergeant, detective and corrections officer in the group. This is not a group of passive, submissive, insecure people. Truth is, it is difficult to bring this group to consensus on anything.

Asher stated he “has not met most of the officers” who voted and “has not worked with them.” There are 17 members of the guild on San Juan Island alone that have worked with Jeff daily, most of them for years. And I would be shocked if there is a single member that Jeff “has not met” at one of our trainings, qualifying days, or in some other work situation.

Jeff did say two things that were true. He said that Krebs “has tremendous control over this (guild support).” Krebs does, through his performance as sheriff, have tremendous control over the way we as a guild vote. If he is a good leader and manager, if he treats his people with respect and justice, if he is the best candidate for the job, we will support him. If anybody felt Jeff was the better man for the job, they would have voted to support him. They did not.

Trying to explain away the nearly unanimous guild support for Krebs, Jeff also said, “People are indebted to him (Krebs),” as though we only supported Krebs because he allows us to work here. Well, I am indebted to Krebs, but not the way Jeff says. “People” should be indebted to Krebs, and not just the guild members, but the public as well. Ron has done a great job raising the level of performance, professionalism, consistency, accountability and morale within the sheriff’s office. All these things contribute to a safer community and better-served public in San Juan County.

I will be voting for Ron Krebs (of my own free will) in November, and I strongly encourage you to do the same.

Andy Urbach

Corrections Officer