I’m writing in response to the Oct. 6 story about a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters (“Six council candidates focus on public safety, taxation in virtual forum”), whose organization is “supposed” to be a nonpartisan.

Betty Mayfield, the moderator and a past co-president of the League, took a political side when asking whether Frederick County should keep the sheriff’s office, or replace it with a police department.

(24) comments


A perfectly legitimate question. Perhaps the author of this LTE has a political ax to grind.


How does asking a question about candidates' views on two forms of law enforcement make the League of Women voters a partisan organization? The character of the office holder is what matters here. Jenkins has clearly demonstrated that he is objectivity is questionable when he said  "Every Democrat in America is trying to destroy this country. I really believe that." -Chuck Jenkins on WFMDAM Morning News Express Podcast on June 30, 2022. Should Democrats in Frederick County trust him?


Mr. Godfrey, like the right wing in general, makes a distinction between "the government"--in this case the country executive and county council--and "the people."

We elect representatives--whether Congressmen, county council, president, whatever--because we trust their judgement. This goes back to the 18th c. Conservative icon, Edmund Burke. Burke voted according to his own principles. He was criticized because he was not following "the will of the people." In one of the many contradictions of Conservatism, Conservatives today want their representatives to "follow the will of the people" rather than trusting the judgement of the people they themselves have elected. In the past, they believe the opposite--like Burke--that a representative, once elected, should follow his own principles and convictions. Fiip, meet Flop.

I don't know Sheriff Jenkins. I have never seen him. I know relatively little about him. I do know his decisions have cost the county a lot of money because the Supreme Court has disagreed with some of his actions (arresting a Hispanic woman who was eating lunch outside her office...). And those with short memories don't remember the times sheriff's deputies stopped drivers who were going into diabetic shock and beat them up. Not once, but at least twice! (for those who want to re-live the glory days of the sheriff's office, see https://www.google.com/search?q=frederick+md+police+stopping+driver+with+diabetic&oq=frederick+md++police+stopping+driver+with+diabetic+&aqs=chrome..69i57j33i10i160l2.22984j1j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 ) But my point is that I have never seen Jenkins' resume and I know very little about his career before he became sheriff. So I vote based on the handful of facts I do know.

But surely the county executive and council know a lot more about Jenkins than I do. I helped elect them. I trust them to carry out their duties according to their own principles and convictions. I do not put "me" or "us" in a box over here and "county executive" or "county council" in a box over there. The government--at all levels, for better or for worse--represents "me" and "us". That's the point of democracy. And no, we do not have direct democracy as in Athens. We do not put every decision to a vote of all the people. Nor should we.


The issue is that in Frederick the Sheriff wins office through a popularity contest, while the chief of police wins office by having the best resume and job interviews. To me the latter is preferable for chief law enforcement officers.


Three, Mr. Godfrey is correct, the Chief would serve at the pleasure of an elected (a.k.a. "popularity contest") County Council. Do you believe that there are no politics involved there? Of course there are. In Frederick, Chief Lando serves at the pleasure of the Mayor and Aldermen. Do something that they don't like politically, and he is gone, regardless of his sterling resume. Same goes for a Sheriff. If the County citizens don't like what a Sheriff has done, they're gone. The difference is we decide, not some other elected official. Wasn't politics (in this example "trust") the reason that Mr. Bickel was let go by the previous Sheriff?




Where did I say ; "all Democrats" was simply stupid, as are the statements about "all Republicans". It is simply tribal nonsense from both sides."


You didn't, Dick, and nobody claimed you did. Hay was pointing out some of the things Chuck Jenkins said, including "all Democrats". I replied that such statements were stupid, as are the statements about "all Republicans ". Read it again.


Gabe, this is where we disagree. Having a "good 'ole boy" does not result in the best Sheriff and we have seen how political our Sheriff is going to D.C. to suck up to Trump.


Dick, putting aside the "good 'ole boy" pejorative, an appointed official is affected by politics as an elected official. Your objection is to the current Sheriff meting with Trump. Had Mr. Bickel gone to the White House to meet with a president would you still object?


Gabe - it isn't just the one event you are referring to that causes some to question the Sheriff's actions. It's the groups he belongs to, the trips he has taken paid for by questionable groups, the statements he made about ALL Democrats, etc. So, maybe folks have a valid concern...


Agreed, Hay, but I was responding to Dick's example. The statement about "all Democrats" was simply stupid, as are the statements about "all Republicans". It is simply tribal nonsense from both sides. If we look at it as a set theory math problem, the overlap in "A intersection B" is huge, yet folks call out the ridiculous differences, and the reason I no longer belong to either party. As for the groups he belongs to, I don't know what those are. Someone made mention of some right wing extremist belonging to the same group(s). To which I responded that not all groups have spotless early beginnings. What groups does he belong to? As for the trips to the Rio Grande, yes, they were sponsored by FAIR. Some here claim FAIR to be racist, but do not know why they believe they are racist. They just repeat what they heard from somebody else. Being against illegal immigration is not racist, in and of itself. Only pointing out one group for exclusion is, while allowing others, is. Right now the bulk of our illegal immigration activity is at the Southern border, although we have illegal immigrants coming in through every port and border crossing.


Too bad, Chuck's going to win anyway!!


Charles A Jenkins was not elected because of his credentials, as he had / has NO credentials.

His opponent in the initial general election has far more qualifications / credentials.

To even try to counter dick’s point is ignorant.


Why bless your heart! Where are credentials addressed in either Dick's statement or my response, your toxic leaden trolliness? My point was that both elected and appointed positions are subject to politics.




Of course there is politics involved either way. Duh. However, as I stated, the police chief selection process is much more objective and is based on resumes and interviews. That is how the job should be filled, in my humble opinion. Again, just look at our sheriff, who barely graduated from high school - and yes, I know that for a fact - and is better known for his extremist politics than for policing. The opposite is true of our police chief - which is the way I like it. Just my preference.


Gab; but the Mayor and Aldermen are elected and answer to the people, so if the people do not like their handling of the police chief then they could vote them out of office. It is essentially the same as an elected sheriff, just one level removed. Both are political to some extent.


While that may be true, shiftless, the Mayor and Aldermen have a lot more than law enforcement on their plate to be evaluated against. The Sheriff has only law enforcement to be evaluated against. If folks don’t like the Sheriff’s performance regarding law enforcement, they can directly have their say via the ballot box.


So, Gabe, should EVERY position that reports to the Mayor be elected directly instead? Why should law enforcement be different? Should we directly elect the head of the FBI, Homeland Security and the Armed Forces as well? Would that make them less political? My premise is that a directly elected law enforcement leader is just as political as one appointed by an elected official. Maybe more so.


No, shiftless, that’s not what I said at all. While the Sheriff is the head of the county law enforcement, we must admit it is also an elected political position. His deputies report in to him. Does that make the performance of their duties any different? No. Just as the mayor’s direct reports report to him. Just as Jan’s direct reports report to her.

Girl No.3

" This was no doubt a bad political decision, and the results were obvious."

There's a sentence that needs editing.


No, not really.


Excellent points.

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