I have known Larry Smith since the mid seventies when he worked for the Gregg County Sheriff's Department. Larry displayed a great work ethic and promoted through the ranks, becoming Captain of the Criminal Investigation Division. He has extensive, real-world experience in all areas of criminal investigations.
More importantly, he has the supervisory experience needed to be a sheriff of a county as large and diverse as Smith County. His continued career with DEA and ATF provided valuable experience that will benefit the citizens of our county.
Through my career, I have had the privilege of working with outstanding men and women in law enforcement. Larry is truly special. His character and drive for excellence is admirable. These are the facts; they are without questions.
Larry has an engaging personality and enjoys outstanding relationships with all branches of law enforcement. Larry Smith will be the professional, top law enforcement administrator of Smith County that citizens will be proud to call “my sheriff.”
Texas Department of
Having lived in Smith County for decades, I know how important it is to have a sheriff who understands all aspects of the operations of the sheriff's office. From careful development of a $25 million dollar budget, writing and implementing jail policies, management of hundreds of staff and dealing with mountains of regulations and standards, Bobby is the only candidate with the experience in all areas of the job.
Some candidates have focused their campaign on calling for a change. But Bobby is a change, a change with 30 years' experience in all aspects of the job. I want that experience working for me and our community. Why would we want to lose his insight and experience at such a critical time? Please join me in affirming our need for Bobby and his ability to head up the sheriff's office.
CHEROKEE COUNTY SPENDING
Four years ago, the Cherokee County bank account had $9.4 million in surplus funds. The commissioners made a conscious decision to spend the money — primarily on new equipment — and initiated a program to pave selected gravel roads. The four precinct commissioners increased their budgets to an average of $4.65 million per year during the past four years, compared to $2.95 million a year for the preceding four years. Coincidently, the bank account has been reduced from $9.4 million in 2009 to plus or minus $2.8 million at the end of this budget year — that's a deficit spending of $6.6 million for this four-year period.
The present county government has spent down the surplus funds to a level precariously close to bankruptcy. Will they now think and respect the property taxpayers with a change in policy this upcoming budget year? I think not. They are planning now how to manipulate dollars to continue their wasteful spending. I predict more dollars will be taken from the county surplus fund, even if it pushes the county nearer to bankruptcy. They will then ask for another increase in property taxes.
Make your voices heard. Let's change the county government culture to more represent the property tax payers, the voters and the future success of our County.
When Larry left the Sheriff's Office for federal service there was a void difficult to fill. His years with the DEA and ATF brought him a level of experience uncommon to most law enforcement circles. He was instrumental in many high profile investigations including the capture and prosecution of the East Texas church arsonists.
He was always quick to share his investigative expertise with local and state law enforcement agencies. Larry brought crime scene training to Texas Rangers from across the state. Rangers were “standing in line” to attend training brought by special agent Larry Smith. His calm demeanor, knowledge, humility, communication skills and generally likeable nature combined to make him one of the best instructors who served the Texas Rangers.
Larry smith was consistently the ultimate professional peace officer. He has all of the qualities and over-arching common sense to be an excellent sheriff.
Seldom have I written a letter such as this. It has never been my practice to recommend a candidate for any position without definitive confidence him them and their abilities. I recommend the good folks of Smith County vote for Larry Smith to be the next Smith County sheriff.
N. Lane Akin
Texas Ranger (Retired)
Otherwise, public schools, junior colleges, universities, teachers' retirement, nursing homes, and many other public service entities would go unfunded. The state comptroller certified the proposed budget as being balanced without raising taxes. Leo joined the conservative block of representatives (including Reps. Wayne Christian, Dan Flynn, Bryan Hughes, Phil King, James White, and many others) to vote for the budget. Only five of the 101 Republicans voted against it.
The comptroller said the budget passed by our Legislature did not fund some health care services because the figures are not yet known, but the funds are there. She also said it is common for the Legislature not to completely fund the budget when exact figures have not been verified. This is not a situation where the Legislature is “kicking the can down the road,” as some individuals claim.
Rep. Berman is doing a commendable job. He honored his pledge to oppose any new taxes and voted for a balanced budget. We would be fortunate to have his continued representation in Austin.
But well in advance of his self-imposed term limitation, he announced that he'd changed his mind about all this. He simply reneged on these vital campaign promises. As an excuse, he proclaimed the importance of seniority in the legislature. While that can be argued, it's curious to see that in his now-13 years in the House, Berman has a rather dismal record. He's never been the principal author of a truly significant piece of legislation and he has never been appointed chairman of a major committee—accomplishments that ordinarily result from seniority.
Instead, he is recognized in Austin for his ideological inflexibility, in strange combination with a never-ending list of flip-flops, including his plan to run for governor against Rick Perry in 2009, and his announcement that he'd be a candidate for speaker in 2011.
It is sadly obvious that Leo Berman has lost his way. In spite of his pledges, he has succeeded in joining what has come to be more and more derided in our country as the “permanent political class.” His primary concern is not effectiveness in office, but re-election to office.
Matt Schaefer would be a representative that district voters could be proud of — for a change.
Don R. Edmonds
He has always been there to help other agencies with whatever they needed of him, at any time of day or night. We have an opportunity to elect this man as our sheriff. Research the candidates and you will see his qualifications and dedication. I will be proud to cast my vote for Larry and be proud to have him as my sheriff.
He was on the team that solved the chuch arsons in East Texas. Those young men are now in prison.
Larry not only has the training, but also the experience and temperament needed to be a top-rated sheriff in our county. I give my whole-hearted support to Larry Smith for sheriff of Smith County.
I have never before publicly supported a candidate for any office until now, but when Larry contacted me and said he felt called to serve as Smith County's next sheriff, I simply asked, “What can I do to help?”
I will completely vouch for his integrity. There aren't many people for whom I will do that. I've worked in the news media and dealt with a lot of different politicians. Many people will say whatever it takes to get elected. Larry Smith wants to serve and what he says is the truth.
After the elections of 2008, I vowed to do my homework on every candidate for whom I cast a vote. I now look at every candidate as if I were hiring him or her to run a business I own.
If you evaluate each candidate for Smith County sheriff, I truly believe you'll see that Larry Smith is the right person for the job. I have faith that you will agree.
A MODEL TO YOUTH
That lesson is, if you work hard, you may start at an entry level job, but you can move up to a bigger and better job. Just look at Bobby Garmon, he is the epitome of the hard worker, he worked and studied his way to be the Chief Deputy and now has an opportunity to be our new sheriff. He manages a staff of about 350 other men and women serving our community in law enforcement, controls a $25 million budget and a jail with up to 1,000 inmates.
Some people are asking for a change for change's sake only, but that is exactly what they will get with Bobby. He has new and innovative ideas to implement that will save taxpayers money. I encourage the voters of Smith County to show our youth that the lessons of hard work and dedication do not go unnoticed, that they can be anything they set their mind to.
I say we should keep Bobby's 30 years of experience working for Smith County and show our youth that you can work your way to the top in our America and in Smith County, Texas.
ONE CANDIDATE STANDS OUT
I would like to encourage voters to carefully and thoughtfully compare the candidates. Larry has strong moral character, integrity, and respect for the office and the citizens he would be expected to protect. I have attended three of the many debates and find Larry's responses to be thoughtful, truthful and understanding of the leadership required for the job. Larry has a vision for where the sheriff's department should be, but more important he has a plan for how to make this vision a reality. He said in one of the debates that a leader should “lead by example.” I couldn't have said it better myself. In other words, Larry doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk.
A sheriff will be called on to make tough decisions. Larry Smith has the courage and commitment to make strong principled decisions. I am convinced that none of the other candidates can measure up to the ethical behavior, experience level and positive human relation skills that Larry possesses.
Larry Smith will be the professional, top law enforcement administrator that the citizens of this county need.
A TRUE SERVANT
Not only has he worked hard as our chief deputy, but he is a wonderful volunteer on many, many charity projects. Some people say they can or will do a good job but I have seen Bobby actually working for decades in our community to make a positive difference. I want Smith County citizens to know that his involvement in our community is not a recent interest, it is a lifetime commitment to our families.
A FAIR MAN
Chris Green was an outstanding lawman who walked into many dangerous situations where people where armed. He was fair and treated everyone the same whether they were feeding their family or hunting for sport. Chris is a man of integrity, and I am proud to support him for sheriff of Smith County.
Mrs. James W. Arnold
MAN OF INTEGRITY