There were many, usually the candidates, who wanted to influence our votes. They sent us seemingly mountains of mail.
While the post office benefited from the postage, probably no one is happier than the mail carriers that most of the races in Election 2012 have been decided. Plus, the phone rang and rang and rang. When it was a real live person, that did not bother me. But the computer calls got annoying.
A few days before the election, Laney, one of my granddaughters was at my house. For about a week, several times a day, I had been getting calls my answering machine identified as being from “Survey–Washington.”
I think their computer must have been on the blink.
Whenever I saw “Survey–Washington” was calling again, I would barely lift the receiver from the cradle and then put it down again.
Laney eagerly took on that job for me. A second-grader, it was probably the only time she had been given permission to hang up on someone.
At least one person was disappointed about a robo call she did not get. She had heard that baseball great John Smoltz was calling people in support of one of the candidates but he did not call her.
In the race for sheriff, the campaign brochures, telephone calls, newspaper and radio ads were wasted on me.
I had no doubts about who would get my vote. It was our current sheriff, Roger Garrison.
That does not mean I thought his opponent, David Waters, would have been a bad choice. In fact, back in the ’70s, my husband, the late Joe Cline, gave David his first job in law enforcement.
Joe was a member of the Waleska City Council and was charged with selecting a policeman for the town. David was chosen and served the city well.
David talked recently of sitting on our front porch being interviewed for the job and then going with Joe to our neighbor Jack Smith’s old chicken house to get out the police car.
Frank Reynolds, a resident of Cherokee County, is the Public Information Officer for the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.
When his Cherokee County friends and neighbors asked him how to vote in the sheriff’s race in Cherokee he responded, “Please vote out of logic, not emotion.”
In Roger Garrison’s case, I voted for him out of both logic and emotion. I have known him and his family since he was a child.
Frank began making his decision by considering the state of law enforcement in Cherokee County in 1992 when Sheriff Garrison was first elected. It was far from ideal.
Although law enforcement has improved dramatically, Frank acknowledged there will be crime no matter who is in charge.
Although we have a large number of law enforcement officers in our schools, businesses and communities, that is not a guarantee that everyone will be safe.
In observing the operation of our sheriff’s department, Frank reasoned our deputies are well educated and trained and we have more deputies than ever before.
Again, drawing from his own experience and observations, he concluded that as is true in many governmental departments during this down economy, Cherokee County deputies are doing more with less.
Plus, according to Frank, our sheriff’s office has been under budget every year. Then he reasoned since the current employees support Sheriff Garrison there is limited turnover on the staff.
Last, Frank advised we should judge from our own experiences with the sheriff’s office who should be our voting choice.
I remembered one Christmas Eve when a gun-toting deputy sheriff rang my doorbell at midnight. My children were here for the holidays. So was my daughter’s dog, Linus.
We had been to a candlelight service at our church. In setting the security alarm, I had forgotten Linus was in the house.
In his moving about he had triggered the alarm while we were away. The security company had called the sheriff’s office.
After listening to my explanation the deputy asked if he could come into the house and look around to be sure everything was okay. He very professionally did.
Declining our offer to join us for hot chocolate and Christmas goodies he said he was on his way home to spend Christmas with his family.
As it was on that Christmas Eve, my experiences with the sheriff’s office have always been good.
So, congratulations Sheriff Garrison on your re-election and thank you and your deputies for all you do to keep us safe.
Marguerite Cline is the former mayor of Waleska.