The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

October 19, 2012

ENDORSEMENT: Kaiser a good choice for Jasper County sheriff

It’s the lone race in Jasper County, but voters will want to pay attention when they mark their ballots for sheriff on Nov. 6.

Randee Kaiser, the assistant chief of the Carthage Police Department, defeated incumbent Sheriff Archie Dunn in the Republican primary. Kaiser also defeated Larry Newman, a former sheriff’s deputy.

Now, Kaiser faces Libertarian John Karriman on the November ballot. Karriman is a former employee of the sheriff departments in Jasper and Newton counties. He currently is a tactical specialist with the state and teaches at Missouri Southern State University.

In our view, Kaiser’s training and education make him the best candidate for sheriff.

He holds a master’s degree in criminal justice administration from MSSU. If elected, on the day he takes over the job he stops being a police officer and becomes a leader of men and women and the watchdog of a budget and taxpayers’ money.

He has done a commendable job as budget manager at the Carthage Police Department in his day-to-day role as assistant chief. He is an experienced administrator who already has learned the lessons of overseeing employees.

Kaiser is not afraid to disagree. But, he will pick his battles wisely and will do so in a professional manner.

It doesn’t hurt, in our view, that Kaiser also has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri. Communication with the public will be particularly important. Kaiser, because of his journalism training, is well-versed on Missouri’s open records/open meetings law. Taxpayers could use an advocate on the side of openness in county government.

We would point out that Dunn, especially during his early tenure as sheriff, created a new culture of deputies who were held accountable. He raised the bar of professionalism in that office. Residents of Jasper County, particularly those who live in rural neighborhoods, should thank him for the job he has done.

Kaiser can now step in and help end a stalemate between the sheriff’s office and county administrators. He will lead as an administrator, a budget manager, a law enforcement officer and an advocate for transparency.

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