Letters to the editor

May 6, 2006

In response to Candidates Night, Bieber May 3 2006

Editor: Regarding the Bieber candidates night on 5-3-06, I would very much like to address several issues. It seems that the fact that I get health coverage from the Westwood School District was more important than other issues that were covered. While I don't believe this to be true, I will respond this. The Westwood Unified School District is the most financially stable district in the County. We have our problems like everyone else, but a little known fact is that we contribute anywhere from $300,000-$500,000 per year to the Lassen County Supt of Schools office. All schools in the County benefit from this. This money is a direct result of programs in place at the Westwood School District. Health insurance is expensive, but it is a benefit we are allowed and work for. In no way does our taking the health insurance detract from the benefits available to the students at the schools. We are there for them. They and their education are our primary goals, and always will be. 'Nuff said.

Regarding the candidates night: First, I want the citizens of Bieber to know that I was facing off against the four top administrators in the sheriffs department. This can be difficult at best and catastrophic at worst, but I was ready for it. The undersheriff, jail commander and the departments only lieutenant and chief secretary were there for the "intimidation" effect, but it failed to work to their advantage. I felt that I addressed many issues and problems that currently beset the Lassen County Sheriffs Department, issues which directly impact the deputies and citizens we serve. I also provided the facts to back up any statements that I made. Of the issues that I covered: training, equipment, retention of deputies, policies and procedures, and integrity issues, most are a direct result of poor management by the current sheriff and his administration. Their complete silence after I finished speaking should have spoke volumes about the validity of my statements. They had nothing to say because they knew I was right. The campaign mailer and the election advertisement put out by Sheriff Warren were, and are, with a couple of exceptions which I alluded to and gave him credit for, fabrications and distortions propagated by the administration to give the public the impression that the current sheriff and his administration are a forward looking, go ahead organization. The exact opposite is true. The sheriffs department is in fact an understaffed,undertrained,reactive organization that not only lacks professionalism and guidance, and which is running in place, but an organization which goes out of it's way to stifle individual initiative and thinking. Worse than this, they are in many instances still stuck back in the 1970's and 80's. As I stated in my speech, they are the Status Quo, and all deputies are required to adhere to it or be stuffed. Within the sheriffs department, silence is truly golden. The limited time alloted to me for my speech, 15 minutes, precluded my discussing many other issues that recurrently problem areas with this administration, but I did not have time to address them. I would be happy to meet and discuss these at any time.

I do want the citizens of Bieber to be aware that there were many issues other than health insurance that were discussed at this meeting. Thank you for your time.

Benny Wallace