Posts Tagged ‘Clay County Sheriff’

One of the people I greatly respect in Clay County Politics is Sheriff Paul Vescovo. He is a man of honor and integrity. I appreciate his willingness to speak up in this primary election. As he says, it is unusual for a Sheriff to involve himself in a Commissioner race like this. Frankly, I’m sick and tired of usual. 

Providing law enforcement to protect you and your family is not a political issue — it’s not Republican, Democrat, or even an Independent issue.  It’s a basic government function that we rightfully expect from our elected leaders.  

It shouldn’t ever become a political weapon, but unfortunately, our current Presiding Commissioner, Pam Mason, has decided to cut the Clay County law enforcement budget because of a political squabble against me. I cannot understand why she is willing to jeopardize the safety of Clay County citizens just because she dislikes and disagrees with me.

Commissioner Mason fully-funded our previous Sheriff, but as soon as I was elected in 2012 she immediately began slashing the law enforcement budget.  Honestly, I do disagree with Commissioner Mason on several issues, but I don’t let our disagreements affect the service I provide to all Clay Counties citizens. Elected officials often disagree on issues but that should NEVER negatively affect the citizens they represent.

Unfortunately, that is exactly what Commissioner Mason has done to the people of Clay County. She cut more than $500,000 from the law enforcement budget after I was elected Sheriff.

While simultaneously cutting the law enforcement budget, Commissioner Pam Mason secretly gave massive pay increases to her political friends. The Assistant County Administrator received more than a 30% pay hike – raising him from $72,000 to more than $94,000 in only a few months! County contractual expenses increased for her political friends – costing the county hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional expenses.

I normally would never get involved in a primary election, but this year the stakes are high and the safety of all our citizens is at stake. Commissioner Mason is up for re-election and our former State Representative, Jerry Nolte, is running against her.

Jerry Nolte served honorably in the Missouri House for 8 years, is a long-time Clay County small business owner and is a lifelong resident of the Northland, along with his wife of 34 years and three children. During his time in the Missouri House, Jerry was a leader for local job growth, protecting innocent human life, defending our 2nd amendment rights and fully funding public safety as Chair of the House Committee on Public Safety Appropriations.

Here are a few of his major accomplishments for our area:

Jerry sponsored and led the charge to pass the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act that saved nearly 6,000 Clay County jobs and brought more than 1,000 additional jobs to the Northland

Jerry was rated pro-life by the Missouri Right to Life, Missourians United for Life for his unwavering defense of the unborn

Jerry helped pass legislation that ended the double taxation on Social Security and Veterans

Jerry received the National Rifle Association’s “A” rating and endorsement in every election

Jerry successfully worked with Missouri Sheriffs and Prosecutors to strengthen laws against dangerous drugs like K2 and K3 and pass mandatory sentencing requirements for pedophiles

It’s because of this record on issues that matter to you and me, that I support Jerry.

While Jerry has an outstanding legislative track record I’m extremely excited about the positive solutions he has planned for Clay County as Presiding Commissioner.

Jerry stands for positive change in Clay County. This is an opportunity to leave the old ways of corruption and political fighting in county government behind. He will support:

Jerry supports full funding for public safety and cares about the men and women of Clay County law enforcement.

Jerry will open the doors of county government to transparency and accountability.

Jerry is a professional who will bring commonsense leadership to Clay county government.

Jerry Nolte as our Presiding Commissioner will build consensus not controversy and stop the million-dollar lawsuits our taxpayers have been forced to pay over the last several years.

Thank you for reading this lengthy letter. I know it’s unusual for a county Sheriff to become involved in a Commissioner race, but the stakes are too high for me to stand by. I hope you’ll join me at the polls, Tuesday, August 5th to vote for Jerry Nolte for Presiding Commissioner.

For a better Clay County,

Sheriff Paul Vescovo

P.S.   Don’t forget to Vote, Tuesday, August 5th in the Republican primary for Jerry Nolte for Presiding Commissioner. The men and women of law enforcement need your support to end Commission Mason’s political squabble that is harming the safety of all our citizens.

I have had this since July 13, and I just failed to get it up. 

I’m glad Commissioner Pam Mason has publicly brought up the budget and personnel cuts she made to the Office of the Elected Auditor of Clay County.

As your elected Auditor, I’d like to tell you more about what those cuts mean for the workers in my office and the citizens I serve in Clay County. It should be noted that the only three county departments receiving budget cuts in the last two years were: elected Auditor, elected Sheriff and Parks & Recreation.

First of all and most disturbing, the budget cut to my office was down to the dollar amount of a long time county employee. Ellen is 58 years old. Sadly, not long ago, Ellen lost her husband of 32 years. As too many people know, it is devastating to lose your life partner. But the loss of a job so quickly after? Ellen had to sell her home and move to Utah to live with family.

The dollars used to pay Ellen to audit the Commission went to the Commission’s Assistant County Administrator who received a $16,500 raise in his first month of employment, then yet another raise bringing his salary to more than $94,000.

Commissioner Mason: By your own public admissions on social media and the fancy mail pieces you send, you did this to send a message to me. But instead of hurting me, you hurt a woman who needed this job to make ends meet. Clay County workers aren’t collateral damage. They are hardworking folks who do an honest day’s work to pay their bills, feed their families and hopefully have a little left to enjoy.

When Commissioner Mason’s husband, Vic Hurlbert, was the elected Auditor his office had four full time deputies. My office has been cut twice since Commissioner Mason took office. The office of the elected Auditor is now down to one full time and one part time deputy.

It’s difficult to set aside one’s personal feelings on the job. However, the people of Clay County deserve officeholders performing at their best. It’s too bad Commissioner Mason cannot let go of her vendetta against my office. Her husband, Vic Hurlbert, resigned from the elected office of Clay County Auditor after an investigation by a special prosecutor and was then rejected by the voters to be their State Representative, in spite of spending more than $120,000 of his own money. The people are sick and tired of political infighting and officeholders who govern based on revenge.

Commissioner Mason, you have also publicly admitted to the hiring of an outside company to work on the county financial statements required by Missouri statute to be completed by the County Commission. My office previously produced these statements as a gesture of goodwill and teamwork. Due to the personnel cuts in my office, we were unable to extend this courtesy for 2014.

I’d like to talk a bit more on the subject of outside financial reporting services. Commissioner Mason, your Purchasing staff went out for bid to retain financial reporting services earlier this year. Two companies of sound reputation responded. The due date for the bid was extended anyway. A gentleman named Bruce Culley responded on the last day of this extension, with a bid that undercut the competition. Bruce Culley was selected by your two votes  – because you voted in place of Commissioner Gene Owen, who was absent.

What the voters may not know about Bruce Culley: he was your first recruited candidate to run against me for Auditor. He filed with the Clay County Election Board as a Republican candidate for Auditor. Then his recent criminal record was uncovered. Within a short period of the financial reporting services bid from Clay County, Mr. Culley withdrew as a candidate for Auditor and was then selected by you to receive a contract.

Commissioner Mason, you slashed the budget of the elected Auditor by $50,000 and ended up paying far more through outside contracts for auditing. Once again, Clay County workers and taxpayers are the losers.

I pledge to continue to independently audit the offices and departments of Clay County, as I am bound to do by Missouri statute. This means there will be more political consequences for me, and for my office. But I will not waiver in my commitment to integrity and transparency in government

 

I was recently contacted by and sat down with Clay County Sheriff Paul Vescovo. He shared with me some concerns about actions taken by the Clay County Commission.

On February 4, 2013 the Clay County Commission passed Resolution 2013-52 “establishing” the Clay County, MO Office of Emergency Management (OEM). Legally, the commission has not done anything wrong. As with any decision made by representatives, there is also a question of whether or not a decision is correct and appropriate for the citizens that these individuals represent.

Up until this point, the OEM has been under the responsibility of the Sheriff’s office. Former Clay County Sheriff, and Mason/Hurlbert crony, Bob Boydston had relocated the OEM within the Detention Center Building. Sherriff Vescovo’s concern is that Resolution 2013-52 has established the Emergency Operations Center in the same area as the “Clay County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Training Center.” The training center itself was built with funding from the Law Enforcement Sales Tax. Sheriff Vescovo sees this move by the Commission as a usurpation of his authority. In a letter issued to all the commissioners and provided to me, he stated that any persons improperly accessing the Law Enforcement Training Center without his permission is liable to arrest and prosecution.

While the above worries me, I have some other concerns. Why do we need to move the Office of Emergency Management away from the Sheriff’s office in the first place? Is it just me, or does the idea that in an actual emergency it would be good to have the Office of Emergency Management under the control of the Sheriff’s office appeal to you? Platte County has their OEM under the Platte County Sheriff’s Deparment. Does the Clay County Commission actually think that a sheriff who helped set up police forces in Afghanistan is really that unqualified to deal with emergencies?

This reeks of typical Mason behavior. You see, Mason and Hurlbert have an axe to grind against Sheriff Vescovo because he does not drink their Kool-Aid. Mason, aided by Commissioner Ridgeway and Commissioner Owen will probably do everything she can to rub what little power she has in Sheriff Vescovo’s face.