In The News

Letter: What matters in a leader


Napa Valley Register | March 13, 2022

Yes, in Napa County, at least for now, the citizens of our county will have the opportunity to elect the new sheriff.

In these current times where democracy and the election process often appear to be at risk, your right to vote and elect should not be taken lightly.

The sheriff of Napa County is to be elected by “Citizens of Napa County” and not appointed — as some might have it.

Currently, the official leading the sheriff’s department is the interim appointed sheriff, not an official elected by the people.

Due to the early retirement of our previous elected sheriff, our County Board of Supervisors was tasked with appointing an interim sheriff to serve until the June election. My understanding is this process is the norm. What may not be the norm is how this particular process or lack of process was conducted.

In this case, it appears that the outgoing sheriff strongly recommended his replacement, and along with the support of an influential supervisor or two, this candidate was presented to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

As far as I am aware, there was no interview of this candidate, nor an interview of the serving undersheriff who had announced his candidacy for sheriff for the upcoming June election, or any others.

It would seem there was not much process — as the board swiftly approved the outgoing sheriff’s recommendation by a 5-0 vote. The serving undersheriff and candidate for sheriff was fired soon after.

As an example, our highly regarded District Attorney Allison Haley went through an extensive interview process before being appointed the interim district attorney prior to being duly elected months later.

So what happened this time around? Who knows? What I do know is that many citizens and community leaders do not approve of how all of this went down, myself included. Somewhere, somehow things got skewed. Possibly by the power of politics.

Letter: What matters in a leader

The good news is that we, the citizens of Napa County, still have the power to vote and elect whomever we feel will serve our county best as our new sheriff.

My strong belief is that the very best of our two candidates is Jon Crawford, who until recently, served 3 years as our undersheriff and has been an outstanding member of the sheriff’s department for 22 years.

He has helped lead our county through the challenging times of recent years and as undersheriff, he oversaw much of the daily operations of the department. Yes — experience counts!

I’ve known Jon and his family since his days as a student athlete at Justin-Siena High School where I had the privilege to coach him as a member of our football team. His leadership skills, intellect, integrity, compassion and character that were evident then have only become stronger and will serve him and our county so very well as our next sheriff.


View Original Publication: Napa Valley Register