Letter: Miller has right qualifications for sheriff

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Recently, when asked how he differs from his opponents, Buncombe County sheriff candidate Shad Higgins said he didn’t know because “I haven’t seen any published information on the other candidates’ plans.”

Wait, what? You’ve been running for most of this year. You’ve debated your opponent, Quentin Miller, twice! But you’ve neither taken the time to learn his positions, nor I must presume even listened to him when you’ve been together?

If I’m to believe you, then you don’t know that Quentin was an MP for 11 years and retired from the Asheville Police Department as sergeant, having served our community for 25 years.

You must not know that Quentin plans to hold regular town halls to build community rapport. Or that our opioid crisis will be one of Quentin’s top priorities.

Is it really possible that you’re unaware of Quentin’s thoughts regarding diversity, including plans to elevate more women into leadership positions?

I guess you’re also unaware that Quentin’s endorsements include the Buncombe County Association of Teachers, North Carolina Association of Teachers and Police Benevolent Association.

Is this the type of leadership you would bring to the sheriff’s department, Mr. Higgins? A head-in-the-sand approach to problem-solving?

As the successful owner of Weaverville Tire & Wheel, I’ve no doubt that you can balance a budget, Mr. Higgins, any more than I doubt you could balance my tires. But do you have the skills necessary to balance the fragile relationship that can exist between law enforcement and the community it’s sworn to protect?

I can’t see it. So I’ll be voting for Quentin Miller for Buncombe County sheriff on Nov. 6. I urge others to do so, too.

— Stephen Advokat
Asheville

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6 thoughts on “Letter: Miller has right qualifications for sheriff

  1. Robin Canuck

    In my opinion, neither candidate is ideally qualified for the position of Sheriff. It’s true that Mr. Higgins lacks Mr. Miller’s law enforcement credentials, but I personally have a bigger concern with other factors and experience that Mr. Miller doesn’t seem to have:
    Mr. Miller has nearly zero experience in a leadership role. His time at Asheville Police points to a career line employee who has never had to manage or supervise department level tasks, such as: He’s never developed, managed or had to deal with budgeting (managing department funds, prioritization, capital management, etc.). He’s never managed employee issues from an executive position (important stuff like hiring, firing, and disciplining). To my knowledge, he’s never had to be independently accountable for his work (he’s always had a chain of command to do that for him), and quite frankly, I’ve been severely unimpressed by multiple iterations of leadership at the Asheville Police Department (whom Mr. Miller cites as his most valuable credential).
    Meaning no disrespect to Mr. Miller, but he seems to lack in several key areas that one would expect to be necessary of the highest law enforcement official in the county, who, once elected, is accountable to no one until the next election. I urge all citizens to do your research, don’t make such an important position a popularity contest, and vote for who will do the best job for the county.

    • bsummers

      Good points, I suppose. I’ll still be voting for the candidate (Miller) who actually has some experience in law enforcement. I’d rather have a sheriff who at first relies somewhat on staff for budgeting, hiring etc. than one who knows absolutely nothing about enforcing the law.

      • Stephen ADVOKAT

        Exactly! Mr. Higgin says he’ll fight the opioid problem by arresting small-time dealers on the street. This tone deaf response alone to a national crisis should be enough to tell you that Mr. Higgins is completely unsuited for this job.

        • bsummers

          Mr. Higgin says he’ll fight the opioid problem by arresting small-time dealers on the street.

          Man goes to the doctor with a recurring rash. The doctor says, “Maybe you should scratch more.”

  2. Enlightened Enigma

    neither candidate is worthy of election, really …

  3. alanm

    A vote for Higgins is a vote for the continuation of the war on drugs, which has a proven track record of abysmal failure. Entire countries like Portugal and Switzerland, on the other hand, that have adopted the harm reduction strategies that Quentin Miller is embracing — and which Higgins is explicitly rejecting as an “failed social experiment” (https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2018/10/19/midterm-elections-2018-buncombe-county-sheriffs-race-quentin-miller-shad-higgins/1656562002/) — have, for about 20 years now, shown overwhelming efficacy. A quick web search turns up dozens of articles to this effect.

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