Since the start of the rather heated 2008 Effingham County sheriff’s race, I’ve heard numerous complaints about the current leadership abilities and previous so-called “promises” of incumbent Jimmy McDuffie. One that I often hear is the condition of the pay scale. I understand that Mr. McDuffie recently had the Effingham County’s starting pay increased, but there is no set pay scale for longevity within the department regardless of rank.
What I get from most citizens is in retrospect; why has it taken six years to have this pay raise implemented, and coincidentally, right before an opposed election? I’ve pondered this myself. No wonder there is a 40 percent turnover rate at the department.
Also, while sitting at the forum at South Effingham High School on Tuesday, I heard Mr. McDuffie say he was going to put together a citizens advisory board. This was something he said he was going to do in 2005. Why has this goal still not been achieved? Several citizens would love to be involved in something of this nature to express their concerns.
Mr. McDuffie claimed several times he was not a “9 to 5 sheriff.” He says he ventures out at all hours, works traffic occasionally, and participates in other normal duties of a deputy.
In my eyes (as in several others) the department should possess enough highly qualified deputies that have the leadership skills to handle any given situation without having to have the sheriff become involved. Why? So that the sheriff can be a “9 to 5” sheriff, able to be out in the community to answer questions, able to handle complaints, able to have his door open to anyone whom may want to discuss any problem whatsoever. A sheriff should solely be there to make sure the job gets done.
Yes, he should be able to do anything a deputy does, but that is why you have a sheriff’s department. You have a department of employees that are assigned duties to carry out and if they are trained, qualified deputies, then everything should run smoothly without the sheriff having to constantly get involved.
These are only a few of my concerns. I could go on and on.
It is my perception that Mr. McDuffie has not acquired the leadership skills needed to efficiently run a sheriff’s department based on the prior six years. No doubt he is a good man, but he is not the best man for the job as sheriff of Effingham County.
I fully support Mr. Rick Gossett in this election based on his previous accomplishments and leadership skills he has proven to possess in his current position as chief of police at the Bloomingdale Police Department.
I can only hope that others will look at the “big picture” when voting on July 15 and set aside any personal feelings they may have for either candidate.