LETTER: Undersheriff John Ball: Madison County’s Best Choice

To the Editor:

As a resident of Madison County, I have a vested interest in the outcome of the upcoming election for
Madison County Sheriff. Acting Sheriff John Ball is our best choice.

The County Sheriff is not a road patrol position. While the Sheriff can and does go out on patrol, it is primarily an administrative position, with a heavy focus on the oversight of the County Jail and operation of a complex organization.

John Ball has many years of experience with jail oversight, overseeing multi-million dollar budgets, grant writing and collaboration with community organizations that have reduced recidivism by 20 percent and saved taxpayers a lot of money. As undersheriff, and now acting sheriff, he has supervised all ranks of law enforcement on a countywide basis.

When his challenger was asked recently to specifically address his experience overseeing complex multi-million dollar budgets, he could not even attempt to answer the question. In fact, he dodged the question.

John Ball has saved our taxpayers millions of dollars: More than $12 million in Homeland Security grants for Madison County since 2012, more than $2 million dollars saved by a 20-percent reduction in repeat offenders and more than $650,000 saved in medical costs at the County Jail by introducing state-of-the-art medical billing.

Ball has supervisory experience as a sergeant, lieutenant, captain, undersheriff and acting sheriff. He has streamlined the Madison County pistol permit process, managed four different collective bargaining agreements and overseen the budget, operations and personnel of the County Sheriff’s Office. In addition, Ball has experience as a Major Incident Commander during floods and natural disasters, armed stand-offs, drug busts, drug lab take-downs and, unfortunately, fatalities.

The challenger has none of the supervisory, financial or organizational experience for this position; he also wants to increase the use of Narcan. True, this will revive and save the lives of addicts, but John Ball wants to save those lives while pairing that with advocating for programs to break the cycle of addiction, so fewer people need Narcan in the future. This is vision.

The challenger wants to fight the drug problem in Madison County. John Ball and our Sheriff’s Office deputies have been doing that very well and collaborating with other agencies to successfully fight the drug issues in Madison County. Maybe the other candidate has been too busy with his concern for Onondaga County to notice the hard work of our dedicated deputies and sheriff as they have taken down drug labs and fought the problem here in Madison County.

The other candidate touts his experience fighting drugs and gangs in Syracuse. How come drug use and gang violence is so rampant in Syracuse?

Madison County is a great place to live. We have dedicated professionals who make up the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. It is a well-run organization. I cannot think of a reason to change the leadership when an organization is running extremely well. I am voting for Undersheriff John Ball: A military veteran, an experienced organizational leader, a great steward of taxpayer monies, a leader
with vision and a man who has faithfully served Madison County for almost a decade.

Let’s keep what’s working: vote for Acting Sheriff John Ball Nov. 7, 2017.

Fred Bragan, Canastota

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