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Sheriff explains stance on Charter

Posted on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 7:48 am

Sheriff Murray Blackwelder

Sheriff Murray Blackwelder

To the citizens of Lincoln County, as you know, I recently came out in opposition of the current Charter in its written form. I did so on two fronts: one, from the standpoint of sheriff, and the second as a tax-paying resident of Lincoln County.

As sheriff, I feel it is my obligation to the people of Lincoln County to speak up anytime I foresee anything that will be a detriment to the people I represent. It is my opinion that the written form of this document is extremely flawed and will dismantle the operations of county government in Lincoln County.

I do, however, agree there are some changes that would be beneficial to the daily operations of Lincoln County, but as your sheriff and as an elected official, I cannot and will not agree that throwing our current form of government out and starting from nothing is the answer.

From a tax-paying citizen standpoint, I believe I have every right anyone else has to state my opinion and that opinion is due the same respect as any other citizen in Lincoln County. As a citizen, I am a full believer in supporting our senior citizens, our ball fields and the other non-profits that make a community worth living in. Without those things, all you have the opportunity to do is go to work and go home. I believe our seniors deserve every break we can give them, and I am willing to pay a tax for them to have it. Are you? Some of the best times of my life were spent with my children at their activities, watching them at public, non-profit events.

That being said, apparently my being sheriff and having an opinion seems to have offended or not set well with some residents. I don’t understand that mentality because I’m not mad at the handful of people that wrote the document, but they seem to be mad because I don’t like it. Fortunately, we live in a country where people have the right to voice their opinions. To quote an old saying, “If you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, the one you hit will holler.”

As for those who want to get on social media and bash the government, step up to the plate and run for public office, and you will see the effect that it has on your lives and, more importantly, the lives of your families. Then you can understand what really goes into running your government. Maybe then you will think about what effect allowing five people to control every decision in Lincoln County government will have on the residents of this county.

I have dedicated the past eight years of my life to being the best sheriff I could be for this county and will continue to do so as long as the voters see fit to elect me. After all, you had the voice to put me here and God gave me the ability and blessed me with a great group of dedicated employees to see it through. Contrary to what is being told, I have not lied to or misled anyone. I have simply read the wishes of their document and determined for myself what I believe it says. That is why I have strongly urged each person to read every word of the document and form your own opinion. After all, if this is the “fix all” for county government, why has only two of the 95 counties in the state of Tennessee adopted this form of government in the past 36 years.

I would like to say it has been an honor to be the sheriff of Lincoln County for the past eight years, and I look forward to having the opportunity to do so for the next four. Thanks to all of you for your continued prayers and support.

Murray Blackwelder,

Lincoln County Sheriff