Likely, Robert Arnold could have held the position of sheriff for 35 years if he’d wanted to. If he had showed just a little respect for his constituents, the office of sheriff and the most basic ethics and diplomacy, he could have kept his $125,000-a-year job leading a powerful $40 million organization—one many say he was severely underqualified to lead.
How did a young man with a special education diploma come to assume the highest law enforcement office in the county? A lot of it had to do with the fact that he had an “R” by his name on the ballot, many say. Will he still have the support of the Republican party after a media frenzy dealing with his latest antics? Will it all just blow over?
Somehow, with him it always just blows over. And he grows more bold and powerful with each move.
He must think that since not many will stand up to him, since the voters gave him their seal of approval, he can do as he wishes, accountable to no one, spending public money and brokering deals in a way to line his own pockets, and the bank accounts of those he favors, Constitution out the window.
Defending his pepper-spraying, driving-under-the-influence relative, supporting questionable checkpoint and search practices, taking his personal vendetta across state lines to extradite a political opponent . . . now, in the midst of his JailCigs scandal, he is asking the county leaders for $1.5 million more, so his office can purchase more vehicles (more than 30 new Ford Explorers) and hire more officers.
The county commission seems to be going along with it, and the result may be higher taxes for everyone because the sheriff’s office cannot seem to manage the enormous resources it has already.
I say deny that request, stand up to wastefulness and reckless spending and tell him to spend the $40 million he’s been given in a more responsible manner.
In fact, let’s cut his budget from last year another $1.5 million, and if the county commissioners are considering throwing around that kind of (other people’s) money, give $3 million to the county schools’ music program, or create a program to shelter and feed Rutherford county’s homeless population.
I would like a society where it was a little easier to respect our local police, but with Arnold’s track record and attitude, with individuals like Vanderveer and A.J. Ross in charge, with Police Chief Kevin Mooneyham over in Woodbury recently being indicted for embezzling funds, with Bill Sharp and Joe Russell more interested in finding additional revenue streams than serving and protecting, they are making it difficult to have much respect for local law enforcement.
Some say that Arnold has actually saved the county a lot of money, that he is a model of frugality. Well, he could have gone out and bought jet skis and diamond watches for everyone on the force, but since he didn’t, we’ll call him a responsible, fiscally conservative leader.
Anyway, moving on to fun subjects . . . Barfield Crescent Park will host a giant pile of sand for the kids to play in on Friday, May 8, Nashville’s new amphitheatre has announced its inaugural concert season and . . . popsicles!
The town’s wide variety of music continues, with May offering the opportunity to locally check out acts ranging from the Hoo Doo Men to Donna Hopkins, from AvA to the Dewdrop Jamboree variety show, Jonny Gowow, Ivan LaFever, Big Smo and many more.
Keep your gardens watered and your eyes on the prize.
Editor in Chief