WHY I’M VOTING FOR EVERETT RICE FOR SHERIFF
Posted by Tim Bryce on May 29, 2012
There are a lot of reasons for voting for a political candidate, perhaps a person’s position on a certain issue, his qualifications for the job, or maybe because a friend or family member recommends him. As for me, I’m voting for Everett Rice for Pinellas County Sheriff for one reason only; dominoes. Let me explain…
The Sheriff is one of the most important jobs in the County, certainly the most visible. In a county as densely populated as Pinellas is, and with a department consisting of over 2,700 members in five major service bureaus, it is by no means a trivial position.
As the economy receded over the last few years, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) experienced significant cutbacks in budgets and personnel. This has forced the curtailment of certain programs and belt-tightening, some rightfully so, but it has also caused employees to lose confidence in the department and question their leadership. Today, morale is declining in the PCSO. The press recently reported on PCSO officers loafing on the job and scandal in the narcotics division. This is all indicative of a department, which at one time was considered highly professional, is losing its luster. In the process, the community suffers. Reversing this decline is perhaps Rice’s biggest challenge. Instead of trying to micromanage people top-down, Rice is an ardent believer of managing from the bottom-up whereby people are charged with responsibility, trained accordingly, and empowered to accomplish the work themselves. In an organization as big as PCSO, Rice understands it is simply ridiculous to try and micromanage everybody.
Further, it tends to create an apathetic work environment whereby people become reactive and blame others when problems arise. Treating people as professionals though, overcomes this problem and causes them to become more proactive in the business of the department.
Everett Rice served as Pinellas County Sheriff from 1988-2004 and in that time rebuilt the department, one built on integrity and respect, and where the officers had a pride in service. His people knew him for his professionalism, management skills, and for being a “cop’s cop,” a person who understood all facets of his business as he had risen through the PCSO ranks himself. To illustrate, fellow GOP Sheriff’s candidate, Tim Ingold, a 31 year PCSO veteran with impeccable credentials, recently withdrew from the race and threw his support behind Rice.
Another significant difference between the two candidates, Rice was elected four times by the people of Pinellas County, Gualteri was appointed by the Governor. Bottom-line, both the department and the people of Pinellas County trusts Rice.
As to my domino theory, by electing Rice we will be returning the most qualified and competent person to run the department. In turn, Rice’s management abilities will restore the confidence, integrity and professionalism of the PCSO which, consequently, will result in better service to the community and regain the public’s trust. At this delicate stage in the history of the PCSO, Rice is simply the right man for the job.
Mr. Bryce is a writer and Management Consultant with over 30 years of experience. He resides in Palm Harbor, Florida. His blog is at: timbryce.com