Research the sheriff’s candidates before voting

Editor:

The purpose of this letter is two-fold. It addresses the importance of exercising your constitutional right to vote, and also speaks to who, I believe, is the most qualified candidate for Botetourt County sheriff.

The Republican primary is fast approaching for three of the candidates for Botetourt County sheriff. On June 11, the field of three candidates will narrow to one. Anyone, no matter their political affiliation, may vote in the Republican primary. I urge you to use your voice, given to you by our US Constitution, on June 11. I encourage you to do your homework by researching each of the three candidates. Determine for yourselves what the most important qualities are that you seek in your sheriff, the most prominent law enforcement office in our county. Remember, too, that the primary is only the beginning, and that your vote is also needed in the general election on November 5.

I have been a resident of Botetourt County since 1992 and am employed as a high school teacher here. I met Lt. Jeff Stritesky approximately eight years ago in relation to the curriculum that I teach. He has acted as liaison for the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office and is active in the planning and scheduling associated with my school program. To that end, I can speak intelligently and knowingly of his strong desire to help today’s youth. In addition, his knowledge of the workings of the Sheriff’s Office has impressed me. His ability to communicate and relate to Botetourt residents is evident in the various ways in which he interacts with and serves our county, both on and off the job.

I want my sheriff to be a leader, to have experience in all levels of the sheriff’s office, and to have proven himself in that sheriff’s office, through the years. Lt. Stritesky has done just that. He has gone from deputy, to master deputy, to sergeant, to his current rank of lieutenant. Unlike the other candidates running for sheriff, Lt. Stritesky has not only road experience, but also supervisory and administrative experience. I want my sheriff to already have the experience needed for the job, not one who has to learn as he goes. Our sheriff needs to be able to make a smooth transition into his role, not have to take the time and resources to try to figure it out.

I urge each of you to vote on June 11 and November 5. I also urge you to choose the right person to be your sheriff. Based on road experience, supervisory experience, and administrative experience, Lt. Stritesky has it all.

Lisa M. Shaffer
Troutville

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Stritesky begins outlining plan of action

Editor:

Over the last few months on the campaign trail, I have had the immense pleasure of meeting many fine citizens of our beautiful county. As I spend time talking with their families, the topic of conversation frequently shifts to planning for the future of the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office. Without actual plans words are merely campaign promises. Today’s letter is the first of a three-part series to discuss my actual plan of action to lead the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office in the areas of community involvement, school safety, and the opioid crisis.

The current mission statement of the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office states, “We will at all times work in cooperation with community agencies and groups to promote understanding of and competence in our efforts in law enforcement. We are expected to carry out these responsibilities diligently and courteously and to take pride in the service we provide, while maintaining professional standards and integrity in public service.”

In order to accomplish those goals, we must be more transparent with the citizens of Botetourt County. Social media has led to drastic changes in how we communicate, and your Sheriff’s Office must embrace these methods while continuing to utilize traditional media. During my first month, I will designate a public information officer to be the liaison between the Sheriff’s Office and community.

This individual will distribute crime alerts and announcements, recognize personnel, as well as lead our recruitment and retention efforts. An example of one such announcement: Sheriff R.N. Sprinkle, in cooperation with the Board of Supervisors, recently received funding for a new school resource position effective January 1, 2020 that will make our schools safer. This previously unannounced position and the expansion of the school resource program has been a desire of Sheriff Sprinkle for many years.

Under my leadership, I will implement a program that encourages deputies to participate in community activities while on-duty. Just one hour of public contact per deputy each month will result in over 540 hours annually of positive community interactions. In addition, the Services Division will identify and sponsor quarterly classes in cooperation with community partners in areas such as self-defense, crime and sexual assault prevention, and substance abuse recognition, as well as an annual Citizen’s Sheriff Academy.

My office will work with the Botetourt County GIS Department to release crime maps, which allow the general public to view recent crime and criminal activity. Such efforts can lead to safer communities, which is my ultimate goal as your sheriff.

Jeff Stritesky
Candidate for Sheriff

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Walter Michael for Board of Supervisors

Editor:

On June 11, Botetourt County residents have the opportunity to vote to Walter Michael, who is well qualified to be elected to represent the Blue Ridge District on the Board of Supervisors. It is time for some new faces and Walter is well qualified for this position.
I would like to ask constituents if you are concerned about county spending, property assessment and pet projects?

Do you believe you are being heard and selflessly served, or are you being ignored?
Does the current Board of Supervisors take your wishes at heart?
Do they listen and hear your concerns with a caring spirit?

If the answers to the above questions are no, then it is time for a change.

Walter is a very conservative individual and decided to become a candidate for the Board of Supervisors to implement the business skills and practices he learned at the University of Richmond while studying for his Master’s Degree in business. He used these practices to help a company that was losing over $1 million dollars a day become a Fortune 500 company. He and two other co-workers created a consulting firm that had clients in the United States and Canada. This firm was in the black every year. Walter believes these same practices can enable Botetourt County to reduce spending while enhancing the life experiences of its citizens.

Walter has attended all the Board of Supervisors meetings for the past three years. He publishes a monthly newsletter to keep the citizens up to date on items that are happening in Botetourt County. Some individuals cannot attend the monthly meetings and this newsletter helps keep them well informed.

I believe the Board of Supervisors is spending too much money too fast. They do not address traffic before approving new projects. Route 220, Laymantown Road, Murray Drive and Exit 150 are prime examples.

I believe Walter’s education and job experiences will benefit all the people in Botetourt County.

We have Board of Supervisors members that have served Botetourt for many years. It is time to elect someone that can help get control of bad spending habits and listen to the voters. Walter Michael will solicit your opinion on county issues before they are voted on.
Walter Michael needs your support. Please come out this upcoming election on June 11and vote for him to serve you on the Board of Supervisors.

Joyce Epperly
Troutville

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Former sergeant supports Vineyard

Editor:

We as the Botetourt community are fortunate to have a long time resident and stand out candidate for the office of sheriff who is willing to provide their vast knowledge and experience to this great community.

As a former deputy and Sergeant of the Botetourt Sheriff’s Office for over a decade, I have worked beside all three Republican primary candidates. Two of the candidates are long-time, current employees of the Sheriff’s Office with very little to no exposure of current law enforcement practices outside of Botetourt. This is a problem for the future of our safe hometown community.

Botetourt is growing overnight, whether we like it or not. With growth also comes the possibility of increased crime. If we don’t elect a sheriff that has the experience and resources to control this, our wonderful community will suffer. We need someone who can think outside the box that has worked outside the box and can keep our community safe.

I encourage you as a concerned citizen to compare all three candidates and vote for the most qualified person that can keep our growing county safe. Please do not let your neighbor decide whom you vote for– this is not a popularity race. This is our future! I support Mike Vineyard for the office of sheriff. It is your duty to elect the best person for the job. Vote at your local precinct on June 11.

Ryan Adkins
Troutville

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