A digital discussion board hosted by a small neighborhood group Tuesday night was inundated by practically 100 different Sonoma County residents keen to listen to from three of 4 candidates within the upcoming race for sheriff.
Dave Edmonds, Carl Tennenbaum and Kevin Burke took half-hour every to current their visions for the workplace — of inter-agency collaboration, group oversight and main by instance, respectively — to the gang gathered over Zoom.
Whereas South Park Coalition, the southeast Santa Rosa group that organized Tuesday’s discussion board, initially stated it will endorse a candidate, its leaders opted not to take action following the occasion.
Assistant Sheriff Eddie Engram, the fourth candidate within the June election, was not included within the occasion. His absence was the topic of controversy forward of the discussion board and within the chat field through the shows, with some individuals calling the choice unfair.
“Is there a purpose not all of the candidates shall be there? The one particular person of shade not invited to a group that has all the time been a multiracial group???“ wrote one commenter, named IV Rosario, underneath the Fb post publicizing the occasion.
“You clarify the racism throughout the Sheriff’s Workplace, however why not have the one Black candidate have an opportunity to speak about his concepts and why he needs to serve his group?” wrote one other, Erin Connors.
Solely the candidates who reached out to handle the neighborhood group had been included, coalition consultant Annette Arnold informed The Press Democrat, saying that Edmonds, Tennenbaum and Burke every individually requested over the previous few months.
“We don’t imply to exclude anybody,” Arnold stated. “I do really feel unhealthy about that and I do take duty for not inviting everybody, however it’s not my job to be courting candidates — it’s their job to be courting us.“
Beforehand, Arnold informed The Press Democrat that “we’re not fairly a fan of Eddie Engram’s. We’re hoping to get another person in there to exchange the present regime.”
In a dialog earlier than the occasion, Engram stated he thought his omission was an apparent offense, particularly as a result of the dialogue would possible embody “the connection of the Sheriff’s Workplace and regulation enforcement with communities of shade.”
“I’m the one candidate that may be a particular person of shade, and I believe that my perspective is vital,“ Engram stated. ”I do work for the Sheriff’s Workplace. I’m in regulation enforcement, however 24 hours a day I’m a Black man. I’m a resident of this group. I’ve kids of shade on this group — these issues are vital to me.“
Following the occasion, Tennenbaum — a former San Francisco police sergeant — wrote in an e mail that he agreed Engram’s absence was not “a great look.”
“Any group that’s within the political course of ought to embody all candidates in debates or candidate boards. I do not imagine that there was any racial motivation for excluding Eddie Engram, and I’ve to take Annette Arnold at her phrase,” he stated.
Arnold added that as a result of the occasion was already scheduled to be an hour and a half, individuals would in all probability “get edgy and begin leaving” earlier than a fourth candidate might say their piece.
The Zoom occasion remained at capability by 8 p.m., after the three contenders delivered their speeches and took questions from attendees.
Edmonds, a retired Sonoma County Sheriff’s Workplace captain and the primary to current, centered on the Sheriff’s Workplace’s “systemic dysfunction on the management stage” and his “tremendous excessive efficiency expectations” for individuals underneath his command.
“Persons are saying to me, ‘I’m not afraid of Santa Rosa police … however I’m a little bit bit afraid of the Sheriff’s Workplace,” Edmonds stated. “That’s not one thing to be happy with.”
He additionally argued the necessity for collaboration amongst all regulation enforcement companies and supplied concepts, together with a countywide psychological well being response group to increase on Santa Rosa’s just lately launched inRESPONSE cellular help program.
Tennenbaum’s presentation highlighted oversight and transparency as his key aim on the Sheriff’s Workplace. He stated he was a “staunch and energetic supporter” of the Unbiased Workplace of Legislation Enforcement Assessment and Outreach and of Measure P, which gave the watchdog company extra oversight authority over the Sheriff’s Workplace.
“There must be no secrets and techniques right here,” Tennenbaum informed the group.
Lastly, Kevin Burke promised residents that if elected sheriff, he would lead his workplace “by instance,” citing his decade as Healdsburg police chief earlier than retiring final 12 months.
Burke stated he spearheaded initiatives as chief that exhibit his chops for management and group outreach — together with his partnership with Córazon Healdsburg to interact with the Latino group and his help of a mental health response team.
“I hope voters will have a look at what I’ve truly achieved and my monitor report and help me,” he concluded.
Every of the candidates additionally fielded questions concerning the “previous boys membership” and tradition of racism some viewers members imagine exists on the Sheriff’s Workplace. Every answered equally: that they might not tolerate bigotry underneath their management.
South Park Coalition will host one other discussion board to incorporate all candidates if persons are , in response to Arnold. Engram stated he can be very happy to attend if invited.
You may attain Workers Author Emily Wilder at 707-521-5337 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @vv1lder.