An honor, not a privilege

Published 6:34 am Saturday, October 1, 2011

To the Editor:

I have always considered it an honor, not a privilege, to be elected by one’s fellow citizens to serve them in a governmental capacity.

To be entrusted with the business of the office to which they sought is one of the highest compliments your neighbors can bestow.

I had the opportunity to meet our current sheriff, Charlie Phelps, not too many years ago and was happy to make the acquaintance. However, lately I have been very disappointed in the management of this office as numerous actions, or inactions, have stained the reputation of Mr. Phelps and distracted the force from its primary function of service to the commonwealth.

I will not take up space in this paper expounding on topics that are painfully known to the citizens of this county. Many of which are prime examples of why one in elected office should never, in my opinion, hire one’s relatives or friends to work under their control. This accumulation of unfortunate acts has but one remedy available. That is to discharge our current sheriff and elect a new one.

To this occasion rises a veteran law enforcement officer within Isle of Wight, a man of integrity and strong leadership qualities. Many awards for service and accolades from his fellow officers have placed Smithfield’s Chief Mark Marshall at the top of the list not only in Virginia, but nationally.

The time has long been at hand for someone with Mark’s integrity and professionalism to be elected to restore the confidence we should expect and demand from our county’s chief law enforcement officer, our sheriff.

I ask my fellow citizens come November to remember Mr. Phelps for all of the good years of his service to our county and to keep him in their prayers. Then, express this need for change at the ballot box and vote Mark Marshall for sheriff.

Thomas Lee Spencer Mayes