answers pt1 lowery
Posted in the Parker Forum
#1 Aug 6, 2010
Joyce I will address your reasons for this recall in the order you presented;
(1) Sheriff Lowery does not have the experience, management skills, or budget preparation to carry out this position.?
Fact:[ Answer] Sheriff Lowery served his country in the Navy and retired as a Navy Corps after 20 years of faithful service to his country. He worked as a deputy sheriff where he worked his way up to the rank of Sergeant before retiring after 15 years of dedicated service to the citizens of La Paz County. Although he may not have had administrative experience he was respected by fellow officers throughout the county. He worked for CRIT Police Department as Emergency Services/ Homeland Security Director before deciding to run for the position that he now holds as Sheriff. I would agree that he may not have had extensive administrative experience when he was voted into office but then again neither did former Sheriff's Rayburn Evans, Marvin Hare, and Hal Collet when they held the very same position. These were men who worked there way up through the ranks while they worked for the county. All made mistakes throughout their careers as Sheriff's of this county as they had no administrative experience when they were elected into office so I am struggling to understand why you would now expect Sheriff Lowery to be more knowledgeable than his predecessors. The fact of the matter is that all these men performed their jobs to the best of their abilities for the people of this county. Each of these men had different managerial styles and each made mistakes during their respective terms as Sheriff. One has to wonder why you are being so critical of Sheriff Lowery when he has a shown a genuine commitment to protect the citizens of this county? Is it because you were selected to be the mouth piece for a special interest group that is unwilling to accept the new change in administration that was voted into office? Sheriff Lowery took office having to deal with the budget that that his predecessor had already set for the department.
#2 Aug 6, 2010
(2) Lowery has shown unwillingness to work with the Board, County Manager and Finance Department.
Fact:[ Answer] Your issue is meritless as I have never seen you ever attend a board of supervisor's meeting so I have to question how you could even suggest that you have such knowledge of operational issues within the Sheriff’s office. I have personally seen Sheriff Lowery make numerous attempts to work with the board only to be turned down every step of the way by Supervisors Drum and Irwin under the basis that there is no money. The board of supervisors has repeatedly asked Sheriff Lowery to slash his budget time and time again to the point that public safety and the lives of our law enforcement officers and detention officers has been compromised and stretched to critical limits. I would have to ask if you even attended last weeks board meeting when Supervisors Drum and Irwin voted to create the new temporary full time positions with no benefits whatsoever. Is it fair to endanger the lives of those who serve by ordering no over time and no training such as academy training for those who have sworn to protect the citizens of this County? Are the citizens of La Paz County willing to accept the risk and liability of having untrained uncertified officers when dealing with dangerous violent offenders in our communities and jails? La Paz County is mandated by law to provide public safety to the citizens of this county and must never be cut to the point that it puts the very lives of its officers in jeopardy simply because of Supervisors Drum and Irwin's refusal to work with Sheriff Lowery? How many times must Sheriff Lowery stand before the Board of Supervisors in open meetings to voice his willingness to work with the board for the betterment community? How many times must he submit agenda items before the board only to be rejected because of their arrogant refusal to work with him? Under the jail's rent a bed program with the U.S Marshall's service the Sheriff's department turns over approximately $560,000.00 in profits to the county only to have the money returned to the general fund to fund other programs and entities throughout the county so one would have to question why the current board of supervisors would jeopardize this profitable enterprise knowing that contract with the U.S Marshall's service requires that a percentage of detention staff must be academy trained certified officers? Why is the Sheriff's office repeatedly being asked to make critical budget cuts when they are the only county entity making money for the county? Why is the sheriff not given some of these profits to provide enhanced law enforcement services in this county instead of providing minimal service as things have been since we were Northern Yuma County? Isn't this why the citizens of this county voted to break away from Yuma County because they were tired be receiving minimal services and county residents wanted more?
Was it not John Drum and Holly Irwin who campaigned on a platform that they would hire additional officers to improve public safety for all us? Why can the board find no money to hire additional officers yet they are able to find money to fund and create an unbudgeted certified park ranger position at a total cost of $70000.00 per year for Supervisor Irwin's husband? Why can Supervisor Drum suggest that the county pick up the same salary amount to pay for the Director of the Parker Library? Why was a new County law enforcement agency created in a time of fiscal crisis?
#3 Aug 6, 2010
Why are there plans to create additional unbudgeted certified park ranger positions when it is the board’s position that they must be fiscally responsible? Why was an Emergency Services Director position created for the outgoing undersheriff when the new administration took office when the new undersheriff could have simply assumed the same responsibilities the previous undersheriff held that being Major/Emergency Services Director? Why were budgeted monies and for this position taken from the Sheriff’s budget to create a new department?
#4 Aug 6, 2010
(3) Lowery appointed Under Sheriff Paterson, with compromised managerial skills, fiscal understanding or ability to communicate with key figures in county government. Paterson has micro-managed personnel to the point that morale is at its lowest.
What gives you the right to question their managerial skills when you have no personal knowledge other than a perceived opinion based on your own family member’s refusal to accept change within the very office where they are currently employed? It is true that there are still those die hard Collet supporters within the sheriff's office that refuse to accept the fact that the former sheriff is no longer in charge.
#5 Aug 6, 2010
(4) Lowery has shown an inability to make command decisions because of his lack of knowledge of the position and what it stands for. Continuously "unavailable" for key decisions and issues needing to be resolved.
Where does this come from? How do you know the sheriff's schedule and activities throughout the County? Sheriff Lowery has worked diligently to travel throughout the county to address a variety of issues and concerns with constituents that voted him into office, quite often he is seen on weekends traveling throughout the county when other elected officials would choose to rest and enjoy their weekends off.
#6 Aug 6, 2010
(5) Lowery moved or kept personnel in key positions that do not deserve or belong.
Sheriff Lowery was entrusted by the voters of this county to run the Sheriff's Department as he sees fit. The sheer audacity that you would sit in judgment of a man who was elected by the voters to make these decisions to protect the citizens of this county is absurd. What gives you the right to question the Sheriff’s authority to place experienced seasoned officers that were promoted into the positions they now hold?
Since taking office Sheriff Lowery has expanded the K-9 Program as a result the county now has (4) police service dogs that are available to respond anywhere throughout the county as needed. The expense of expanding this program came at no additional expense to the county tax payers as it is being funded and paid for by Anti Racketeering funds.(RICO) In plain terms money seized from drug traffickers is being used to fund this very program.
The sheriff office has applied for and is in the process of receiving federal homeland security grants "Stone Garden" funding to enhance law enforcement services in this county at no additional cost to the tax payers of this county.
He has facilitated "Active Shooter" training to law enforcement officers from all agencies throughout the county as well as Lake Havasu Police Department. All paid for by grant monies at no additional expense to county tax payers. As a result officers are better trained to tactically respond to any potential active shooting situations that may arise on our school campuses or any potential active shooter situation throughout the county.
Additionally since taking office our local Narcotics Task Force has aggressively sought out and investigated high level narcotics traffickers throughout the county resulting in numerous arrests and convictions thus making our communities safer for our children.
The Sheriff has implemented an official web site to better inform the public. He has purchased equipment such as cameras to replace outdated equipment that the previous administration had neglected for many years. All this paid for through the special fund at no cost to the tax payers.
#7 Aug 6, 2010
(6) Lowery filed a frivolous lawsuit against the Board. Paterson did not follow proper procedures in obtaining legal counsel resulting in unpaid attorney fees. This is a flagrant misappropriation of funds and taxpayers' money. Decisions to obtain legal counsel were pushed through by Paterson, but were ultimately Lowery's decision.
Fact: Sheriff Lowery made numerous attempts to obtain information as to why the Board of Supervisors was refusing to accept the promotion of a female employee. The employee was promoted by the previous administration and Sheriff Lowery was left with the task of presenting the promotion to the board of supervisors when he took office. County manager Field and the board of supervisors denied the agenda item without explanation even after Sheriff Lowery repeatedly asked for an explanation from the board of supervisors and county manager Field to no avail. This resulted in Sheriff Lowery seeking advice from outside legal counsel. Although he did not seek approval from the board of supervisors before hiring outside counsel this is simply a technical error. The fees would have been paid from a professional fund that was available to the sheriff however the board refused to authorize the release of these funds based on the premise that Dan Field had instructed the board of supervisors not to pay the bill and allow legal counsel to file a law suit.
One has to question the Board of Supervisors refusal to pay a legal bill that the Sheriff incurred in his official capacity? Why would the board agree to spend money to hire outside legal counsel to prevent this legal bill from being paid when the Sheriff already professional funds available to him to pay these legal fees? It is apparent that the board of supervisors wanted the sheriff to be sued to cause him embarrassment because of a technical error. Had he approached them formally as was required then they would have had to grant his request.
#8 Aug 6, 2010
PART 7 END OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS !
(7) Continuously allowing agency staff to drive county-assigned vehicles to Havasu daily. This is a flagrant violation of county policy and procedure and a waste of taxpayer's money
Fact: Currently there are (3) employees authorized take home vehicles one employee is on call and must be available for call outs at any time of the day or night including weekends and holidays. The (2) remaining employees are narcotics investigators who must be available to respond for call outs at all times. The cost of having these narcotics investigators including expenditures such as their salaries, benefits, fuel, maintenance of vehicles etc., is fully funded by RICO and ACJC funding at no additional cost to county tax payers. The board of supervisors created county policy to prevent deputies from parking departmental vehicles in a secure fenced and video monitored facility at no cost at the Central Arizona Pumping station.(CAP) Sheriff Lowery by statute has the legal authority to authorize the use of these vehicles as a matter of public safety so one has to question why the Board of Supervisors has chosen to micro manage a department that he was elected by the people to run.
The notion that you don't want to cost the county tax payer’s money to pay for a recall election is laughable at best it is public knowledge that a special election cost approximately $25000.00 to hold such an election so one has to question whether or not you have taken this expense to the tax payer under consideration. It is very clear who has shown a willingness to work with the current board. "
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