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Troyer: Pierce County Sheriff should answer to citizens, not council

Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer. (KIRO 7)

Ed Troyer recently won the election for Pierce County Sheriff, and a new editorial from the Tacoma News Tribune argues that the position itself should be appointed and not elected, which Troyer previously opposed with regards to King County. Troyer joined the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to discuss.

“Well, we opposed it. Not only that, but the voters here just decided before the last sheriff to move to an elected position. We were appointed because of some bad things that happened in the ’70s, and the voters here overwhelmingly wanted to go to elected. And I’m the first elected sheriff,” he said. “So already we got our newspaper down here looking at what’s going on in King County and trying to figure out a way to go to appointed.”

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“When you go to an appointed sheriff, then you’re going to be at the whim of the council and the executive, and that’s what they want,” he continued. “Bad things that happened in King County spread. But you have to remember our editorial board for the News Tribune came from Seattle newspapers in King County, so they brought that mindset down with them. And if you look at the comments by the story, most of them are negative against the News Tribune, and I don’t think the voters in Pierce County would ever give up their right to elect a sheriff.”

While the argument for appointing a Pierce County sheriff is that it provides day-to-day oversight and serves as an immediate check against corruption, Troyer says there are mechanisms in place for that, and that the sheriff should be answerable to the citizens, not just the council.

“You work for the voters, and the voters decide,” Troyer said. “I don’t look at being the top law enforcement officer in the county — which is what sheriff is — I look at the citizens being that because if you’re not doing a good job and you’re not doing what the citizens want, the citizens remove you, not the council, and that’s the way it should be. Do you want to go to an appointed prosecutor? That way they can tell the prosecutor which cases to prosecute, and which not. Do you want to go to an appointed assessor treasurer?”

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“You could just keep on going to the point where everybody is giving up their rights to vote and have these agencies run independently, and they’re just tools of a bad counsel, because we all know there’s a lot of bad councils out there and sometimes we get stuck with them,” he added. “Do you want four years of that, or do you want an independent agency that’s going to go take care of business and keep your family safe, and not bow down to whatever the national wind direction’s blowing at the time?”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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