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Voice: Mendoza needs to lead by example

March 04, 2002

Mr. Mendoza and his supporters have once again chosen to use public forums to "fish without bait."

At the recent San Diego State University forum, the audience was given an opportunity to ask questions.

Mr. Ed Ruiz chose to make a lengthy statement before he asked a question directed solely to Sheriff Carter. Then, while Sheriff Carter is answering the question, Mr. Ruiz decides to become hostile, and argumentative and kept interrupting Sheriff Carter.

After the forum, Mr. Ruiz commented, "He didn't answer the question." Well Mr. Ruiz, maybe if you listened instead of interrupting, you might have heard the answer.

Since the moderator only allowed two people to ask questions even though there were several of us, as the third person in line, I'll ask Mr. Mendoza this question: You keep telling the public that you "volunteered" to take over the jail because of all "the problems." You say there are still problems in the jail. You publicly speak about the jail in a negative manner. I have been at several staff meetings where you criticize the jail and its supervisors. Every time something comes up, your response is always "lack of training" by line staff and supervisors who are not "properly" trained.

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"Training" and "leadership" are always the issues, according to you. To borrow a line from Mr. Ruiz, "If what my friends told me are true," you recently told a group that the fight in the recreation yard last week was the jail staff's fault because "they are not doing their job." At Imperial Valley College you said all of the jail problems are Carter's fault because "he's the sheriff."

You have been in charge of the jail for over a year now. Why are we still having these "problems" that you talk about? Why haven't you see to it that we receive the "proper" training and leadership skills? Where have you been to advise and mentor us? Where does the buck stop?

First, you blame the sheriff, now us. Who are you going to point your finger at next time? I may not be a "properly" trained supervisor by your definition, but I do remember a couple words of wisdom from the supervisors course - 1. You are only as effective as those you lead. 2. The team is only as strong as its weakest link.

Your slogan is "Leadership With A Focus." How about "Leadership By Example"?

JACK GREER

Brawley

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