Your letters, July 13

July 11, 2014 

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    Send letters of up to 300 words to editor@newsobserver.com. All submissions may be edited for space and clarity.

Blackwood for sheriff

I am writing in support of Charles Blackwood for Orange County sheriff. I have known Charles for many, many years, and know that he will be the best possible sheriff for our county.

He rose from the Uniform Patrol Division under Sheriff Buck Knight in 1980 to major of operations under Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass in 2010. His 30 years of experience in law enforcement will be a great asset to our county.

Mr. Blackwood truly cares for the citizens of Orange County and will work tirelessly for all of us. Please vote for him for Orange County sheriff on Tuesday.

Frances L. Shetley

Carrboro

Experienced administrator

I am both humbled and proud to have been elected to serve as Orange county sheriff for many years now. There has been so much progress, and our department has become known for its caring service to the community.

Maj. Charles Blackwood has served us exceptionally well in recent years in charge of command and administrative functions of our department, and it is especially important that citizens go to the polls and vote for him in Tuesday’s runoff, to be sure our department will continue to have the leadership of professional, experienced law enforcement administrator.

Lindy Pendergrass

Orange County Sheriff

Stop stealing signs

We hear a lot these days about bullying behavior but seldom realize it continues beyond the school-age years. Whoever has been stealing signs supporting sheriff candidate David Caldwell is nothing more than a bully; someone so intent on getting their own way they willfully trample the rights of others.

I had two signs for David in my yard in Carrboro and both have been stolen. Not from a right of way, but from my property. It is apparent that David’s signs have been disappearing all over both our towns. I call upon the other candidate to speak to his supporters, publicly advising them he does not support this behavior. Theft of candidate signs is a misdemeanor, and if caught, I will file charges.

I believe David Caldwell is the best candidate for this position,and I have a right to make that announcement. Theft of my signs is a violation of my freedom of speech. Let's keep the fairness in Orange County elections and stop this nonsense now.

Vicki Boyer

Carrboro

Caldwell deserves better

One morning at the end of May, we left our home in east Chapel Hill for our destination 10 miles west of Carrboro out N.C. 54. We were struck by the endless number of Blackwood campaign signs along our entire route and the absolute lack of signs for Caldwell, the other runoff candidate for sheriff.

The next morning, I called Mr. Caldwell’s home to ask about this – but his wife said that he was tutoring at New Hope Elementary School. Would he be available that afternoon? No, he would be coaching at Cedar Ridge High School.

When we did speak together, Mr. Caldwell told me that yes, he had posted signs – 500 of them – but they were all removed! Signs posted in the yards of personal friends also disappeared – “but I don’t want to blame anyone,” he added.

I know of David Caldwell only through media accounts of his activism for the public good – particularly for the Rogers Road neighborhood and his tireless work in getting the community center underway and under construction. I have learned of his long history of mentoring young men and of his current activity of directing a summer camp for the neighborhood kids. Going to his website: davecaldwell4sheriff.com, I understood better the many reasons he received the INDY endorsement. His many accomplishments and commitment to peace and justice are the outgrowth of his expressed faith. David Caldwell was recipient of the statewide Lamplighter Award for community service, and the John Hope Franklin Humanitarian Award.

Back to the disappeared signs: Neither David Caldwell, nor any person, deserves the disrespect or illegal act of having campaign signs removed before elections. In a democracy, free elections must also be fair elections.

Nancy and Norm Gustaveson

Chapel Hill

Blackwood a leader

I have known Charles Blackwood personally for most of my life. The two of us are both lifelong residents of Orange County. We have also traveled similar paths in our careers.

During the 1980s and 1990s, I had the opportunity to work with him in a professional capacity. I was assigned to work the patrol division of the Chapel Hill Police Department. At that time, Charles supervised the patrol division of the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Through our professional interactions, it became apparent to me that Charles would advance to become a leader in the department.

Since that time, Charles has served in and successfully managed every division of the Orange County Sheriff's Office, ultimately achieving the invaluable position of major of operations in 2010. Charles would work as the second in command, alongside Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass, until his retirement in 2012.

Charles has spent three decades preparing, both personally and professionally, to lead the members of the Orange County Sheriff's Office. He knows exactly what it will take to protect the lives and property of the citizens of Orange County. He has proven that he is ready to lead the department of 150 people with an annual budget of $11 million.

Following the retirement of Sheriff Pendergrass, there is no other logical candidate to lead and manage the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Please come out and vote Blackwood for sheriff on Tuesday.

Harold Horne

Chapel Hill Police Department

(Retired 1998)

Coble for Berger

For 30 years it has been my privilege to serve the people of the 6th Congressional District of North Carolina as their congressman. Today I ask my constituents to join me in voting for Phil Berger to represent this district.

I am endorsing Phil because I know he is the right person for the job. A proven, tough prosecutor, Phil has the experience, knowledge and determination to hit the ground running in Washington. Phil Berger is the more conservative candidate with the kind of values and energy we need to keep North Carolina on the right track. Just as I have led the fight against Obamacare, Phil will continue to hold the Obama Administration accountable for the scandals, lies and political overreach that are threatening our nation.

I’ve always been proud of the high level of service our office has provided to everyone in the 6th District, and I am fully confident that Phil Berger will meet or exceed your expectations.

On Tuesday, please join me in voting for Republican Phil Berger for Congress.

Howard Coble

Greensboro

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