Critical to keep deputies
I read the Guest Opinion by Deputy Sheriff Justin Fricke, “The case for funding deputies.”
I found it to be well written and to the point. According to my calculations, a top-step Douglas County Deputy would need to be given a 20 percent raise to be at the average of the other five agencies listed.
Douglas County has the highest per capita income of any county in Nevada. If you average the per capita incomes of Carson City and Washoe County it is $28,628. Douglas County’s per capita income is $35,239, or roughly 23 percent higher than the average of those other two counties.
Now I am aware that there are a host of other taxes and fees that make up the budget of any city or county, but let’s take a look at property taxes. The property tax on a $500,000 home would be about $2,250 in Carson City, $2,300 in Douglas County, and $3,200 in Washoe County (source: tax-rates.org)
One additional consideration is the cost-of-living, with home prices being a major portion of that figure. According to redfin.com, the median home price in Douglas County is $606,500. In Carson City/County they put the price at $490,000 and in Washoe at $525,300. While these figures may not be precise, they give an indication of what it costs to live here (and the current cost of a gallon of gas today does not help those that must commute).
Additionally, as I understand it we have lost at least one deputy to the Carson City Sheriff’s Office. His reason for transferring there was that they offer life-time medical coverage, something that we do not offer here in Douglas County. I do not know if that is offered at the other agencies listed in the article.
Another issue that was partially addressed in the article was the hiring and retention of quality personnel, but one thing not mentioned was the liability inherent in law enforcement. Lawsuits against law enforcement are typically one of the largest exposures that a government agency has in today’s litigious society.
While Douglas County is not New York City, trends in lawsuits tend to trickle down. In 2018, the cost of litigation in NYC was over $710 million. These are the kinds of things that can have a huge impact on a government agency’s ability to meet the needs of their community.
There are several ways to minimize our exposure to lawsuits. One is obviously in providing proper training and equipment. But the key to all of this is the quality of the individual Deputy and their ability to think clearly and quickly.
Incidents involving the use of force typically transpire in the blink of an eye but will be reviewed and litigated over months or years. Having the best and the brightest on our front lines not only reduces the liability for Douglas County but makes our deputies safer and our quality of life better.
As the article states, the deputies and sergeants are entering into negotiations on a new contract. All we ask is that they be treated fairly and that their requests be given serious consideration. We don’t want to lose any more deputies to neighboring agencies.
Marxists in the schools
Cheryl and Bob Haynes label the national campaign against Critical Race Theory’s influence and presence in schools a “manufactured crises” (“Student offers hope,” March 25th R-C.) Had they considered the outcome in the Virginia Governor’s race, which came largely as a result of a school district aligning itself with the Marxist tenet in Critical Race Theory (CRT) ideology that calls for the state (not parents) to be the entity shaping the morals and values and even career choices for children, they might see why so many folks are seriously concerned.
I cite Virginia as one example of CRT setting off a battle, but it is one among hundreds of examples that have generated news stories and angry pushback across America. As Nelson Mandela noted, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Those intent on changing the world recognize this. And so in the realm of education, Marxists have been mounting a well-planned, coordinated takeover for more than a century.
CRT posits as truth that all people of color (the “oppressed” – a necessary element in Marxism) have been systemically disadvantaged by white supremacy since America’s beginning. According to CRT, all White people (the “oppressors” – again a necessary element in Marxism) are racists due to either conscious or unconscious bias. CRT offers its own Marxist-driven remedies (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) to eliminate the racism it identifies, and through a recently invented concept called “intersectionality,” it also incorporates any disagreement with its far-left doctrines regarding sexuality and gender into the oppression that CRT decries.
Anyone paying attention cannot deny that CRT ideology is rapidly changing America’s culture and informing policy not only in schools, but in business, the financial sector, government, medicine, entertainment – I mean virtually everywhere. CRT ideology has become the “approved” dominant American narrative and a part of what it means to be “woke.” Most recently, Disney’s CRT-soaked leadership came into the spotlight.
In this county, CRT ideology has gained a foothold primarily through staff training, professional development, a program entitled, “Social Emotional Learning,” and sex education. The argument that no one can “know” if CRT ideology is being taught unless they visit each and every class is specious. I can read. CRT ideology is in the materials the school district uses, and the school board admits that a portion of the staff training and professional development they offer does, indeed, operate to get participants, staff and teachers, to understand and use CRT ideology. I have read the portion. It is, indeed, CRT.
Just last week, at a school board health committee meeting, I discovered teacher training materials being offered by the district that included teaching instruction on “Trauma-based sex education.” And what is that? Well, it’s sex education offered through the “lens” of reproductive justice, racial justice, social justice, and equity – all of which fit into the CRT ideology package.
CRT is no “manufactured crises.” It’s Marxist poison and we need to treat it as such.
Schools doing great work
I write this letter in support of the incredible work that has been done — and continues to happen every day —here in our very own Douglas County Schools. In the upcoming school board trustee elections, the fine voters of this county will have the opportunity to support this great work, or to poison it.
To support it means to vote for school board trustee candidates who are actively involved with our schools, who find ways to support our schools and therefore our kids. A school board trustee should have familiarity with the schools, and if they have children, those children should attend those schools. The one unforgivable sin for a school board trustee would be to use that important position--and therefore use the children of our county--to promote a political agenda.
Three of the candidates for school board trustee have the exact experience and supportive viewpoint that we need so that we may carry on the incredible work done in our classrooms every day. Those candidates are Robbe Lehmann, Heather Jackson, and Roberta Butterfield. I urge everyone to research the platforms of these excellent candidates and how they contrast with their politically motivated opponents.
Robbe Lehmann has served two terms on our Board and is looking to serve a third. He attends ceremonies, he sits on committees, he challenges the status quo, and he supports the entire staff. He wants what’s best for the students, and he does all this respectfully and professionally.
Heather Jackson is in her first term as trustee and has worked tirelessly to support the staff and students of Douglas County. Heather is a great problem solver and her exhaustive research into the many problems brought on by COVID-19 is just one of the many reasons DCSD stayed open last year when many districts could not.
Roberta Butterfield has graduated two children through Douglas High School and has worked as a guidance counselor as well. Roberta brings a powerful intellect and a compassionate curiosity to bear and will be a great asset for our students and families. Roberta cares about our kids, not about politics.
As a retired educator of 30 years, right here in Douglas County, I can attest to the influence a school board election can have on the direction and morale of an entire district, from kindergarten students all the way up to the superintendent. I hope the voters of Douglas County will join me in supporting Lehmann, Jackson, and Butterfield for school board trustee so that we may carry on our tradition of excellence in our schools.
Supporting the school board
As a long-standing member of the community, graduate of Douglas High School, and now a parent of children attending school in the Douglas County School District, I have a vested interest in the upcoming school board election. I’ve always valued public education and as someone who has been educated in Douglas County since first grade, later earning a degree in Elementary Education from UNR, I believe the schools in our valley offer a high level of education, preparing all students for life beyond high school. And I am very grateful that my own children will also receive the same high-quality education that I received. Since my children began school, I’ve always felt welcome at their school, volunteering each year in their classrooms and have had open communication with all their teachers. Even when Covid began and schools were shut down for a time, from a parent’s perspective, I was impressed on how well the district, the teachers, the students and the parents adjusted to a Covid-style education during extraordinarily trying times. I have also been pleased by the transparency regarding statewide and county changes and the opportunity for parents to express their concerns at many virtual town hall meetings. While this wasn’t an easy time for any of us, I never doubted the dedication DCSD has to our children. Given all the challenges that our school district will be facing as we move ahead, I do believe we are on a positive path forward. I urge voters to consider not making any drastic changes to the school board this year, which is why I fully support Robbe Lehmann, Heather Jackson, and Roberta Butterfield for the school board. Like me, these three candidates were either educated by DCSD and/or have children who attend schools in the district, and I believe they will continue to improve the education in the valley, making level-headed decisions and always keeping our children’s best interest their top priority.