As Barry County approaches the August 2 Primary Election, the Barry County Advertiser distributed questionnaires to the Sheriff and Public Administrator candidates.
The responses from the candidates are printed in this week’s issue with only spelling and basic grammatical changes made by staff.
All candidates were given the opportunity to answer each question in 75 words or less, and some candidates chose to utilize all of the questions, while others did not.
The Meet the Candidates questionnaire was designed to allow the candidates to speak for themselves about pressing issues.
Travis Hilburn-R, Danny Boyd-R, James Smith-R, Justin Fohn-R, Terry Meek-R, Gary Davis-R and Justin “Dave” Ruark-D.
Why did you choose to run for Barry County Sheriff?
The reason I chose to run for Sheriff is to try and get a handle on the drug problem in this county. Sheriff Epperly has made big strides in this area. I want to go further and make it well known to anyone, and I mean anyone (NO FAVORITISM), who is dealing, or is using drugs in Barry County. The citizens are tired of it, and I am coming for you!
What qualifications do you have that makes you the best candidate for the job?
To me, the most important qualification for this job is trust. Everyone has to trust you will do what it takes to help them. Second is being a people person. One must be able to listen to the public and also be able to work with the public in any fashion for whatever arises. Experience is a plus which I have and I am currently employed with the Sheriff’s Department. I have also worked for different municipalities.
What do you feel is the biggest concern in the current operation of the Sheriff’s Department, and how would you propose to remedy it?
I think the department needs a full time narcotics officer and a K-9 unit which should be available 24 hours a day if needed. This should be in addition to the already in place Drug Task Force. I would try to secure funding for this through grants and other sources of revenue.
What changes do you hope to make if you are elected?
The biggest change I hope to make is to make this county a safer place again for all of the citizens. This would mean attacking the crime problems and the drug problems. I also want to secure the software and equipment for deputies to be able to do their reports from their patrol cars wherever they are at. This would be far better than trying to have substations anywhere. I also would like to add manpower with the equipment needed to have them patrolling where needed. All of this will take time and can’t happen all at once.
What do you feel the Sheriffs role should be within the community and in the Department?
Sheriff’s role in the community is very important. The citizens want to know they can talk to the Sheriff when they have a problem. As far as Sheriff’s role in the department, it is also very important. The Sheriff has to have the respect of those who work for him. Sheriff has to be able to take charge and then be able to lead in any situation.
What makes you a better candidate over your competitors?
I am a native of Barry County my entire life. I have never lived anywhere but in Barry County. I have seen a lot of changes take place in this county. Some of them for the better and some of them for the worse. Anyone who knows me also knows how hard I work with whatever I do. I was taught at a very young age that, “Any job worth doing, is worth doing right”. I want nothing but the best for Barry County and living here my whole life gives me the knowledge, ability, and an edge to get the job done right. I know what it is going to take to make a impact in the drug world in Barry County, and like I have said before, “If you make, sell, transport, or use drugs in Barry County, I am coming for you.”