Candidates for Montgomery County Sheriff were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
Role: Should the role of the sheriff's department be expanded?
Management: How can fiscal management of the department be improved?
Jerry O. Anderson (R), 47, of 27 Dellcastle Ct., Gaithersburg, has been a Montgomery County deputy sheriff for more than 10 years, eight of those years as a supervisor. Previously, he was a county police officer for nine years.
Role: Yes, the role of the sheriff's department should and can be easily expanded. Such expansion can take place without hiring any more deputy sheriffs or support personnel. We have nearly 70 people now. With proper scheduling, we can run a 24-hour service, which we're not doing now. And we can accomplish this expanded service without incurring any overtime expense. In short, we could put the manpower we now have to more efficient and better use. For example, we could be used more often by the Montgomery County Police to do some of their routine tasks, such as transporting prisoners, guarding hospitalized prisoners and serving warrants. This would free more county police officers to be on street patrol, giving taxpayers more police protection without having to hire more policemen. In addition, we could help county and state police more often during major incidents, such as the recent IBM shootings.
Management: The fiscal management of the sheriff's department can be improved by using the MBO -- management by objective -- approach to getting the maximum use of the limited funds we now have. We are all in tough financial times. We must learn to live within our means. At a time when every branch of government, both local and federal, is being asked to tighten their belts, we must become realists. For example, we can cut costs by a tighter control of overtime. A sheriff who can have the foresight to schedule properly, plan shift work and utilize "flex-time" manhours will be able to provide the taxpayers with proper fiscal management. In addition, since every dollar in the bank draws interest, the new sheriff must be fiscally responsible by promptly turning over to the county all fees collected by the sheriff's department, something which has not been done in the past.
William J. Neptune (R), 57, of 14828 Layhill Rd., Silver Springs, is an agent with Merrill Lynch Realty Co. During 30 years in the federal government, he has been director of investigations and security for several agencies. He is a past president of the National Association of Federal Investigators and is a church trustee.
Role: No. After all these years of operation the sheriff's functions should be well-established. However, there is a great deal of room for change and improvement in the manner in which current functions are performed. A recent in-depth study made 45 major recommendations for improvement. These should be acted upon in a timely and effective manner to make the department more rea responsive to the public it serves. The major change needed immediately is to take the sheriff out of politics and make the office a professional position. The sheriff should be appointed based on his professional qualifications. Like the chief of Montgomery County Police and the superintendent of the Maryland State Highway Patrol. It is a major law-endorcement office and should be treated as such.
Management: The budgeting process should be integrated with the overall resource management and performance evaluation system. State representatives should support the bill in the legislature to increase the sheriff's fees for the service of process, and the courts should be required to pay more nearly the cost of the service provided. There should be established an improved accountability system.