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In the next month, the citizens of Clinton County will have the opportunity to elect a new sheriff. With such an important position it is critical that the most qualified candidate be elected. But you must be an educated voter to make an informed decision. Both candidates speak of their experience as the reason they are qualified to be your sheriff.

Bill Greenwalt has years of experience as a police officer while Steve Diesch has years of experience as a deputy sheriff. While both police departments and sheriff’s offices enforce traffic laws, investigate serious crimes, as well as perform public relation activities, that is where the similarities end.

Your sheriff’s office covers areas of law that your local police department does not. Here are a few of those areas: processes all gun permit applications; registers and monitors all registered sex offenders; receives and processes all civil papers; receives and serves all court ordered mental health and substance abuse paperwork; transports all persons ordered for mental health and substance abuse treatment; provides security at the courthouse and County Administration building; transports all persons sentenced to prison; facilitates returning all persons arrested out of state on local warrants; provides law enforcement to the rural areas of Clinton County along with 11 small communities; executes sale of property due to tax liens and foreclosure; and lastly, and by far the most critical, operates the jail.

Steve Diesch is the only candidate with experience, actually doing all the above areas. Simply put, Bill does not have the experience performing the duties of a sheriff and that is the position he is in the running for.

Both candidates have expressed being a good steward of the taxpayers' money and will bring efficiencies to the sheriff’s office. Candidate Greenwalt noted he oversees 45 officers and manages a budget of over $6.5 million. Candidate Diesch stated he oversees 57 employees, as well as runs a jail with anywhere from 60-70 inmates and does so with a $5.2 million budget and returned $500,000 the previous budget year. The question on budgeting is not how long you have done it, but rather how efficient are you doing it.

The budget numbers presented by the candidates indicate Diesch is far more efficient as he is doing much more with $1.2 million less and was still able to return a half million dollars.

Both candidates have requested voters look at their experience and stewardship of taxpayers' money as the basis for your voting decision. Based on those two criteria Chief Deputy Diesch is the most qualified candidate for sheriff. He is overseeing more employees, is running a jail and operating on less money and is the only candidate with sheriff's duty experience.

Please be an informed and educated voter and cast your vote for Steve Diesch as your next sheriff.

Kevin Cain, Goose Lake

Kevin Cain is a retired Clinton County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy.