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To the Editor:

Thank you Chamber of Commerce for the forum with Kittitas County Sheriff candidates. Prior to this, I had the opportunity to watch and hear presentations from both men independently and had formed a very strong opinion about which was the better choice.

But I was afraid that because my opportunity was in a relatively small group, maybe the larger community had less experience and might form opinions from yard signs and congenial Facebook posts. The forum gave everyone the chance to see what I had seen before.

Yes, both men are good people, but where Bart Olson's predominant expertise is highway safety, augmented by generalized visions for the Sheriff position, Clay Meyers offered a solid explanation of the department's history and his contributions, a detailed description of how the operation works today including contingency plans, plus a practical outline to prepare for the future in conjunction with other policing agencies, Search & Rescue, law makers, budgetary decision makers, population growth, and the community's political climate.

And then there is the commitment to community service, where Bart has certainly contributed, but Clay has been extraordinary in leadership roles, support roles, organizing, and with plenty of dirt under his fingernails from getting projects to the finish line. In summary, if there were a void in the department, or if it was in shambles from ineptitude, malfeasance, corruption or the like, then we should eliminate the incumbent and Bart might be a good choice.

But I believe we are being well served by Clay Meyers and are lucky that he threw his hat in the ring. (Just kidding about throwing his hat... he never, ever, takes it off!)

John Schmit



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