By Angie Baldelomar
Bret Marietta, a former deputy, and long-time sheriff Ken Badsky face each other in the Aug. 2 Republican primary. Both attended a candidate forum last Wednesday organized by the Decatur Professional Women, where they answered questions posed by Mayor Ladd Wendelin.
1. Challenges to overcome in the sheriff’s office.
Mr. Marietta said that the biggest challenge is to try to provide high-quality service with a restricted budget. He said it would be nice to have another officer, but the budget won’t allow it. Mr. Badsky agreed with him, saying that the budget is always a challenge.
2. Ways to improve services throughout the county
Mr. Marietta said that one of the main things to improve is visibility and that a way to do it would be through increased man hours, either dedicating more time on call or adding staff. However, he said doing this would require a lot more budget.
Mr. Badsky agreed on being more visible, but said he knows it can be hard to do because of the budget. Another person would be great, he added.
3. Most important skill for a sheriff
Mr. Marietta said a sheriff should be fair and impartial and show a compassion for the community and a desire to serve the community.
Mr. Badsky said that being fair and using common sense are important for a sheriff. Experience also helps, he said.
4. Changes to the sheriff department
Mr. Marietta said he would not call it changes, because Mr. Badsky has created a great foundation. He would like to improve visibility in Norcatur and Jennings, expand hours for office services and improve response time on calls.
5. County and city law enforcement departments’ cooperation.
Mr. Badsky said the Oberlin police and the sheriff’s office cooperate pretty well now. The police do things for the sheriff, and the sheriff does things for them as well. He said he tries to get along with everyone.
6. Reasons to vote for them.
Mr. Marietta said that he has a passion for law enforcement and a desire to serve the community, and that this job would be a great fit for him.
“I would be fair and impartial, and try to have a proactive approach to criminal activity,” he said.
Mr. Badsky said that he has served the community as sheriff for almost 32 years and wants to keep on with his service.
“I want to continue to do what I’m doing,” he said.
This story was published on page 3A of The Oberlin Herald‘s print edition on July 20, 2016.