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DN Editorial: Endorsements for sheriff, city commissioners' office

IVY STATEN, a young woman running for city commissioner, says the problem with the office is "not the car, but the drivers."

IVY STATEN, a young woman running for city commissioner, says the problem with the office is "not the car, but the drivers."

Although this 24-year-old showed some impressive insights during a recent meeting with this board, it remains to be seen whether the two troubled row offices on the ballot during this primary race - the sheriff and the city commissioners' office - are inherently flawed or flawed because of who has occupied them.

While we believe both should be abolished, we also believe that voters have a chance next week to make a difference in reforming both offices.

For sheriff

The Sheriff's Office, occupied for decades by John Green, handles sheriff sales of property, transports prisoners and enforces evictions. The fiscal mismanagement of this office has been legend for years: millions in taxpayer dollars either unaccounted for, improperly recorded or not disbursed are among the many problems uncovered by the controller's office. The main contenders are Jewell Williams and John Kromer.

His background as former city housing director is not what makes JOHN KROMER the best candidate for the job. What makes him the best is his pledge to actually eliminate the office if he is elected to it. Given the reluctance on the part of current elected officials to take any action on this, Kromer seems to represent the most direct way to reform this office.

His rival, Jewell Williams, is a state rep who promises to bring more transparency to the office. That may be true, but we'd prefer to see this office abolished and its $13 million budget better-spent elsewhere.

City commissioners

The same is definitely true for the city commissioners. We are virtually alone among major cities that allow elected officials to oversee elections.

The duties of this office should be easily parceled out; short of that, though, three candidates appear poised to make a difference, at least in the short term: Democrats STEPHANIE SINGER and IVY STATEN, and Republican AL SCHMIDT.

Singer, a math professor and election analyst, has advocated for years for the commissioners to put election data online; after hearing excuses for why it couldn't be done, she did it herself.

Schmidt, a former federal auditor who took a run at the city controller's post two years ago, is smart and principled, and his experience in routing out waste would hold him in good stead in the commissioner's office.

Staten, who runs a nonprofit education agency, would bring a passion for voter education, a firm grasp of the issues of the office, and, at 24, a generational advantage to engaging younger voters.