Editor, Times-Union:

I would like to respond to one of the points Mr. Stiffler makes in one of the many letters he has submitted supporting our current sheriff. He states: “I want the sheriff following state statutes and not pick and choose which ones he wants to follow.” I agree with that statement. Look up HB 1108 from 2008 and you will see the legislative intent of that law was to force councils and sheriffs to enter good faith bargaining and enter into a contract over salary. Newspapers reported the sheriffs would be required to enter into a contract and it was passed under the assumption that sheriffs would comply. A provision was put in late that if a council did not bargain in good faith, for example if they only offered a law amount, then the sheriff’s pay would default to a percent of the prosecutor’s pay. This was an incentive for councils to bargain in good faith.

Most sheriffs did enter into contracts, but a couple sheriffs did not bargain and thus got the much higher pay. Since then, the majority of Indiana sheriffs have refused to bargain in good faith and thus, by doing so, force the counties to pay the default salary.

Here in this county, the previous sheriffs did bargain in good faith and were paid in the $125,000 range, which was higher than the state average of $108,000. Thus, the majority of sheriffs now “pick and choose” which part of HB 1108 to follow. Again, I agree with you and don’t want sheriffs to “pick and choose which ones to follow.” No matter how you try to spin it, Mr. Stiffler, it kind of contradicts the way you ended your letter.

On another political note, a piece from “Liberty Defense” distributed in our community tries to portray Rep. Snow as against Hoosiers gathering freely to worship during an emergency, supporting keeping sick and dying isolated from their families during an emergency and supporting tax increases. This in my opinion is one of the most despicable, dishonest pieces of political trash I’ve seen. I’d be happy to discuss that in more detail.

Dave Wolkins