Fort Scott, KS
It goes without saying, but one of the greatest impacts on a community is who the people vote into office. This November, there will be important decisions to be made. One of which, will be the county Sheriff.
At the last Young Professional League of Bourbon County, YPL hosted those who will be on the ballot for County Sheriff. Mike Feagin and the current Sheriff, Bill Martin shared their thoughts and responded to a few questions. (in case you don’t make it to the end of the article, there will be a candidate forum Oct 20th, hosted by the Chamber at Fort Scott High School).
Here are the general remarks:
Ramp up efforts to address the drug problem
Build unit cooperation / collaboration
On site working with the drug enforcement
Increase grant research for equipment / maintenance
Shortfalls due to budgetary restrictions. Need new radios, budget has been approved. Working closely with Fire Chief to ensure radio systems will be compatible.
Won 40K Grant for video systems in all patrol cars
Need more personnel – final decision is left with the commissioners
Drug cases – more difficult than property theft. Have to build a case, determine probable cause, etc
Have a strong working relationship with FSPD.
Open door policy / transparency
Another major issue – jail. Invitation for all to come and visit and see what is going on. Two bonds are going on – taking a step back until school bond is passed.
If bond issue to build new jail (increase tax) fails, what is the plan?
BM – I don’t want a new tax, but to pull from sales tax. Also, housing other inmates to bring add’l revenue to pay building. Will not go after prop. tax 40-55 inmates per day. Need to have room for 15 more. Current jail is designed for 26 inmates. Wyandotte Co and surrounding Co are very interesting.
Moderator stop discussion here due to limited time to allow for additional questions. Mike did not get to answer.
If population of inmates is growing, but the population is not, why?
BM – job force is low, laws are changing that are more aggressive
MF – There are alternatives to dwindling job force, need to focus on prevention as well as prosecution ie cadet program
What is the biggest drug contributor?
BM – meth; K2 is growing because not illegal in surrounding states
MF – agreed
If you know you there is a drug problem, what can a citizen do?
BM – keep reporting it, manpower is down, we can partner with KBI, but need to have the case built before much can be done.
MF – agreed, keep watching and be vigilant.
Which is more important, prevention or enforcement:
BM – both are important, sometimes getting arrested is the only way to get them into treatment programs
MF – (general discussion started and MF did not get a chance to respond.
Important dates for the upcoming elections:
- Oct. 14 – Last day to register to vote in general election
- Oct. 15 – Advance voting begins
- OCT 20: Chamber Hosts Candidate Forum at the Fort Scott High School
- Oct. 31 – Deadline for advance ballot application
- Nov. 3 – Noon deadline to cast advance voting ballot in person at county election office
- Nov. 4 – Advance ballots must be received in county election office by the close of the polls, polls are open from 6am to 7pm