Letters and Shout-outs
May 22, 2014 | 2942 views | 19 19 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jim Hart is in command of the facts, and in charge of order

To the editor:

Karl Rove In Felton! I have been watching campaigns for one office or another for a good part of my life. On Wednesday evening, I attended a forum for the three candidates for Santa Cruz County Sheriff. What an eye opener!

While Chief Deputy Jim Hart was exacting with all the information he provided in answering questions given him by those in attendance, retired investigator Roger Wildey came up with statistics that were totally unsubstantiated. It boggles my mind to hear someone who is running for the most important position in Santa Cruz County to be so out of touch with reality. He retired from the Sheriff’s Department over nine years ago and it showed. According to Wildey, the county provided funding in the amount of $60,000 to Barrios Unidos a program dedicated to the prevention of youth violence. Wildey went on to say, “I don’t know what good that has done.”

There was yet another comment that stood out – something about the homeless who have problems with alcohol. Wildey suggested that they should be driven into the trees and then sprayed with hoses. I mean, really? This comes from the same person who would eliminate the requirement to register guns. Does he make the laws? Are we living in California or does Wildey believe we’re in Texas? Let’s get real.

Chief Deputy Hart is fully in touch with reality and has spent the last 25 years in service to our county.

He has managed every bureau in the department and is currently managing the over 350 person staff on a day-to-day basis. Furthermore, he has been responsible for the successful reformation of Rountree Jail and has recently been given the nod by the Board of Supervisors to add seven deputies to the force. The list of his accomplishments on behalf of us all is extensive. Don’t fall for Wildey’s uninformed rhetoric. Vote for Jim Hart for Sheriff on June 3.

Leslie Steiner

Felton

No on Measure A, and Yes, I care about education and safety

To the editor:

Tax Freedom Day 2014 is April 21 – three days later than last year, so I now work 111 days out of 365 before my tax responsibility is complete. I would argue that the government already gets sufficient resources to make decisions and do what is right for education and safety. My question is, why after 70 years of the middle school existence has there been no reinvestment by our school or city leadership?

If I do not save for my roof repair, I do not ask my parents for money to fix it; I plan ahead and save for it. Likewise, the Scotts Valley school district has budget authority to partition resources into salaries, maintenance and future upgrades and repairs. The city of Scotts Valley also has authority to issue a bond to replace or repair the school and they can pay the payments with the general fund. Making such decisions requires leadership. Not making such investments during the last 70 years of middle school existence shows lack of leadership.

Multiple bond votes have been rejected by Scotts Valley residents in the past and you would think this would send a simple message to our leadership. Scotts Valley City Council and school district, you have my permission to fix the school without asking me.

Marco A Middione

Scotts Valley

Let’s recognize students for their academic achievements as well

To the editor:

Every week, the local high schools and businesses honor top athletes with four-color banner ads. I don’t want to diminish the hard work our teens put into their sports, but I do wonder why only athletes are worthy of this distinction. What about top math, science, writing, or art students? Why aren’t their efforts acknowledged on a regular basis? Our community claims to value education, but those who excel academically are only mentioned at the end of the school year or as part of a larger article about a particular event, such as a school play. They are not singled out for praise in the same way athletes are.

I encourage our local high schools, with the support of our local business community, to promote on a monthly basis students whose hard work results in top academic or artistic endeavors. Encourage all our students to succeed, on and off the playing field.

Sarah J. Wilson

Ben Lomond

Jim Hart is a fine man who’d make a great sheriff

To the editor:

I have known Jim Hart for over 35 years. He is a fine man on so many levels: husband, father, friend, public servant, coach and mentor. I’ve had the honor of watching Jim in many roles, including his role as the Scotts Valley High School girls basketball coach.

In his coaching he always emphasized work ethic, integrity and responsibility — that there are greater causes than self. These characteristics made Jim Hart not just a great coach and mentor but a great person. I know he will be a great county sheriff and will continue to make our Sheriff’s Department a much respected and vital partner for public safety in our community.

Pete Newell

Las Vegas, NV
Comments
(19)
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Joe in Felton
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May 29, 2014
Ms Steiner sounds like a real piece of work. I'm surprised the local law enforcement didn't remove her from the park for disorderly conduct or arrested for public nuisance.
Shocked Democrat
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May 30, 2014
She was PART OF the group supporting Hart, chatting it up and sitting with many of the law enforcement officers present!
Everybody Funny
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May 30, 2014
Joe -

It takes quite a bit to get arrested in Felton.

EF.
Santa Cruz Truth
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May 28, 2014
Looks like she made it up on YouTube. Just search for Leslie Steiner and you will see the crazy cat lady.
Lety Rosales-Buie
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May 28, 2014
I was also present at this Forum. I first noticed Ms. Steiner when she staggered from her lawn chair to ask the first question. The audience not was able to hear her and said so. She became angry and aggressive towards other people in the audience.

It was here that I witnessed Ms. Steiner verbally assault a man sitting on the lawn next to me. Without provocation, she proceeded to stand over us in a confrontational manner and yelled , "F--- off you asshole. F--- you and your red shirts."

Initially I dismissed her as an unruly disheveled homeless person that drifted into the forum. I based this on my 25 years of working our jails and dealing with nasty belligerent drunks. Since the SCSO made a sweep of the park in preparation for this event, it only reinforced my observations.

Quite frankly I did not feel safe. Her behavior was erratic and unpredictable. I continued to watch Ms. Steiner should her aggression turn physical. After a few minutes it was made VERY clear that Ms. Steiner was part of the Hart camp and NOT some random person attending this forum.

I watched Ms Steiner and members of the Hart team - comprised of various deputies, administrators, Hart's wife and his campaign manager - exchange conversation and formulate questions as a team. While disheartening, This conduct did not surprise me as I have seen this group utilize questionable tactics in previous forums.

Ms. Steiner was a huge disruption at this event and successfully interfered with our right as a community to a democratic process - specific to this election.

Now that I am aware of Ms. Steiner's professional affiliations, the severity of her outrageous conduct is magnified greatly.

As for the Hart campaign, this should serve as a valuable lesson. Choose wisely when selecting people do your dirty work. Enough said.
Tin Lizzy
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May 26, 2014
Pete Newell, it's very nice of you to write a letter supporting your buddy Hart, but don't you think it's inappropriate since you live in LAS VEGAS, NEVADA??
Stephanie Culligan
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May 26, 2014
I have a few responses for Ms. Steiner's letter that she submitted to the editor. Ms. Steiner, as someone who seems so interested in facts, you should stick to them in your own letter.

Wildey is not simply a retired investigator as you stated in an attempt to downplay his many years of dedicated service. He worked his way up from Deputy to Lieutenant (a position he held for 12 years)- and he has held multiple other positions, a few of which include jail commander, bomb squad leader, and deputy coroner. His career with the Santa Cruz Sheriff's office began in 1979, and since his retirement he has continued to work as an officer. He hasn't spent the last several years in isolation from law enforcement, as your statement implies.

At the Felton Forum, there was never any comment from him about running the homeless into the trees and spraying them with water. Perhaps you were too distracted at the time he was discussing problematic crime areas because that's when you were loudly telling others in the audience to "f@@@ off".

Wildey never said that he would remove the requirement to register guns; that is a federal/state requirement and a local sheriff has no say in that. In fact, he wishes to make the CCW approval process more stringent than what is required under the current administration. Perhaps you were distracted because you were busy flipping off Wildey supporters that were in attendance at the time that was discussed.

A quick google search of your name shows that you are heavily involved in the local Democratic party and were voted "Democrat of the year" last year. As a longtime Democrat, I am embarrassed for my party at your behavior at the forum and your lack of honesty in the letter to the editor. I guess you feel you need to support a Democrat for this non -partisan race (and as of about a year ago, Hart switched from Republican to Democrat) but let's stick the facts here, and if you choose to attend another forum, try acting like a grownup.

We are fortunate to have three candidates to choose from, the first time in 20 years. In my opinion, Wildey is clearly the most qualified for the job, and he is getting my vote June 3.
Someone who knows
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May 26, 2014
Well said, Stephanie.
valleynative1
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May 25, 2014
I don't think this woman attended the same forum I did. From the moment she opened her vulgar mouth I couldn't have been happier that she was standing towards the back of the park with the current administration of the Sheriff's office. Obviously she was brought there to try and discredit Roger but all she did was make a complete ass of herself. Not the person I would want in my corner.
Justice in SC
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May 25, 2014
I attended the Felton Forum as well. Although I didn't who she was at the time, Leslie Steiner was making quite a disturbance. I heard her swearing at others and mocking the candidates. At the time, I figured she was Drunk or mentally unstable. She clearly got her facts twisted, as I heard a much different version from candidate Wildey. His responses were well thought out and based on decades of Leadership experience as a Lieutenant in the Sherrifs Office.

Further, watching Ms. Steiner curse and flip off audience members demonstrated her true character.
Kay Teo Chang
|
May 26, 2014
Justice in SC -

That is who that was? Isn't she an executive board member for the Santa Cruz County Democratic Committee AND voted for Democrat of the Year?

I'm a Democrat and I am really embarrassed that this woman was acting the way she did. She is a shame to the Democratic party and I'm hopeful her partners at the DNC realize how much of a disgrace she is and the shame she has brought upon the organization.

Ms. Steiner - I saw the photo of you flipping off the camera and I witnessed your antics at the Felton Forum that a group of women put together to give the people of the SLV an opportunity to hear what each of the candidates could do to turn around some of the crime that has sprung up in the area. Fortunately the team was able to squash your attempts at being more of a distraction than you were. Continue campaigning for Hart, though. I'm sure he appreciates the attention.
Ardent Observer
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May 28, 2014
Leslie Steiner on the campaign trail for Jim Hart

(warning: image of Ms. Steiner saluting with one finger. Photo taken in Felton CA at Sheriffs Candidate Forum)

https://imgflip.com/i/94dmw

Kay Teong Chang
|
May 28, 2014
That photo is disgusting.

Ms. Steiner - as a registered Democrat within Santa Cruz County, I shall be in touch with the local Democratic Counsel regarding your ouster.
stop lying
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May 24, 2014
Leslie Steiner please don't lie. You are totally in your rights to express your opinions and vote for your candidate BUT don't lie. I was also there and Mr. Wildey never said that. When you lie about one thing it makes people wonder what else you are lying about. If you want people to vote for your candidate lying about another is the wrong way to go. It makes one NOT want to vote for your candidate. SO stop.
Jane Becker
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May 24, 2014
I attended the same forum as Ms. Steiner. I came away impressed with all the steps Roger Wildey will take to provide for our safety. He has the education, the experience, and the tremendous strength of character to be an exceptionally competent sheriff. I do not doubt Mr. Hart is a good, conscientious man, but we have the choice of a more qualified man who is not beholden to established powers.

All for truth
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May 24, 2014
Leslie Steiner, author of "Jim Hart is in command of the facts, and in charge of order" has a loose command of her own facts. I attended the same forum Wednesday night, and listened *very* carefully to what Mr. Wildey said about the homeless. NEVER was there a statement about "driving the homeless into the trees and spraying them with water". However, I found this picture on Facebook that was taken of Ms. Steiner at that very same event, after she got up and yelled accusingly at one of the sheriff candidates, and was swearing at others in the audience: http://imgur.com/L7v2jaR

I recommend finding out what the candidates say themselves, and not taking the word of an obviously loose cannon.
Jo K Ester
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May 24, 2014
All for truth - I was a little frightened at Ms. Steiner's outburst and, after looking at this photo, I am a bit embarrassed for her. She exuded a strange bull dog stance toward the candidate. I understand you are passionate about your candidate of choice, but please let us all remember to take our meds.

All for truth
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May 25, 2014
I agree Joe K Ester. As a longtime Democrat, I'm mortified that this woman was named "Democrat of the year" in 2013. I'm questioning the appropriateness of my affiliation to an organization that rewards this kind of behavior.
Joe K Ester
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May 26, 2014
All for truth -

I had read that she was Democrat of the Year in 2013. I'm a Democrat and trust me, I would not have voted for her to be my delegate representative. Now if she were a Teamster, I'd be all for her.

At first I thought she was one of the homeless who had been partaking of the 'shine. I could barely understand a word she muttered. However, Wildey answered her question with nary a rattled nerve. HE has class.

These are the people who are supporting Hart, though.. so what does that tell you about the candidate in question? Not much. Bad reflection for your campaign, sir.


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