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November 15, 2007

Comments

redperegrine

Barbara may be on to something vis-a-vis the Sheriff. Being Sheriff (or DA) requires the ability to manage a large and diverse organization with a huge budget. Many of the requirements of the job are executive/administerial. Even the "policy" decisions are pretty much based on options among professional standards.

And yet we award the job to the most successful political candidate.

Flowerszzz

Red it is much the same way we elect all of our elected officials. There are some qualifications like being a citizen, registered voter, living in the area you are runnig for (unless you are running for congress)but nothing that requires experience for any political office.

No matter the process, if a person is corrupt they will be corrupt no matter the education or qualifications for the job.

redperegrine

Right, but the electeds (Supervisors for example) are not executives in any real sense. Their mission is to create overarching policy goals and to have those implemented by hirlings - people who meet professional standards. So they hire a "County Executive" (or City Manager, etc.).

The Sheriff has to be a cop; the DA a lawyer. There are lots of people out there who qualify to these absurdly low standards. In Carona's case it was like going from the stock room to the executive suite.

The real challenge is to get elected - which means the Sheriff-to-be (or would-be DA) has to raise lots of money and ingratiate himself with the power brokers: the successful law enforcement elected starts off his new job owing important people favors. If they are naturally corrupt it only makes things worse.

Maybe it's time to rethink the way we select these folks.

One Who Knows

Maybe it's time to rethink the way we select these folks?"

Think all you want, but you had better think big.

California Constitution, Article XI, Sec. 1 (b) states: The Legislature shall provide for county powers, an elected county sheriff..."

redperegrine

Of course, State law establishes county government. So let's think big.

redperegrine

Of course, State law establishes county government. So let's think big.

One Who Knows

Red:

It's more than "state law" which establishes that the Sheriff is to be elected, it's the State Constitution.

So...once you gather the two million or so dollars needed to qualify a Constitutional Amendment, let us know.

redperegrine

Gee, can't legislators put that kind of stuff on the ballot?

One Who Knows

"Gee, can't legislators put that kind of stuff on the ballot?"

Fine! Once you round up 2/3 of both houses of the legislature who want to put their name on an amendment which will strip the voters' right to elect their Sheriff, let us know.

Then we can start pondering whether your suggestion has any merit or not.

redperegrine

No, you've got it backwards. Let's "ponder" whether the idea has merit then discuss the pragmatic politics of the issue.

If you don't want to talk about it because you believe it is ultimately too hard or impractical, fine - don't talk about it.

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