A new sheriff in town
Now that Johnny Brown has been elected as our new sheriff – after defeating James Ledbetter in the April 8 run-off 52 percent to 47 percent – this newspaper looks forward to working with his administration.
Despite the criticism supporters of Brown have leveled against this newspaper for our coverage of the race, our duty is to report what our local government candidates and officials do and aside from our county/district attorney, the office of sheriff is the most important.
One of the main issues we believe in – and here’s hoping Brown does too – is access to public information.
No hurdles. No obstacles. No barriers to obtaining information. Just give it to us straight. Sure, we can agree to disagree greatly on minute issues, but Brown’s campaign was stressing honesty and being open to the public at all times.
That gives us hope in a county which has not seen very many open politicians.
Certain actions were questionable over the campaign, but let’s concentrate on moving forward and not letting petty personal arguments hinder the press-political relationship.
Brown has no general election opponent in November, so he will be our next sheriff.
We’re confident – although cautiously – that Brown will succeed in allowing access to his sheriff’s office by people wanting to know what’s going on.
Only by working together will the public’s trust be obtained.
Old DA, new direction?
County Attorney Joe Grubbs’ office might be the most scrutinized department in this county, but several assistant prosecutors and attorneys have said they are not just willing, but wanting to work with the media to help bring justice to victims of public corruption.
While we’ll still hold officials’ feet to the fire, this new change in attitude in Waxahachie presents our best opportunity for the citizens in small and big towns in our county to fight back.
Like the sheriff’s race, we received negative reactions to our coverage of the campaign (Grubbs was re-nominated on March 4, defeating Rodney Pat Ramsey), but the truth has a way of not being taken lightly. However, with the 2008 primary season officially over, it is this newspaper’s hope that Grubbs’ office makes every effort possible to assist victims and advocates for doing what’s right.
So far, that effort is working. We only hope this lasts.