Thursday, November 9, 2006
Steamboat Springs Democrat Gary Wall said Wednesday it is too early to speculate about how current sheriff's office employees will respond to his philosophies.
"I don't have any authority at that office for the next two months," said Wall, who was elected Tuesday night to replace John Warner as the county's sheriff.
"What I can say is that I look forward to working with the current administration to make things as easy as possible. I want everyone to know that things are going to be just fine."
Wall garnered 4,235 votes, or 55 percent of the electorate, in Tuesday's election. Republican candidate Garrett Wiggins received 3,423 votes, or 45 percent.
Wall said he wanted to dispel rumors that he was going to come into the office and "get rid of everybody."
"There is absolutely no cause for that," he said. "I have no intention of doing that."
Undersheriff Dan Taylor, a finalist for the vacant Hayden police chief job, said he likely will leave the office even if he does not get the Hayden job.
"Historically, undersheriffs aren't retained when a new administration comes in," he said. "They prefer the undersheriff leaves."
Wall, who chose not to announce his undersheriff during the campaign, said he still would not name someone. "I have people in mind, and I will announce that person when it becomes appropriate," he said.
Wall said he does not want to exclude anyone who may have an interest in the position.
Taylor said his primary concern for the Sheriff's office right now is ensuring a smooth transition from one administration to the next.
"I'm willing to offer my assistance to anyone coming into this office. I want to be as helpful as I can," he said. "Our biggest concern right now is our employees and ensuring that the transition will be easy for them."
Taylor said he did not know how many current employees would leave the office when Wall is in office, but did say he expects some turnover.
"It's no secret that a large number of our employees were supporters of Garrett Wiggins and Rachelle (Redmond)," he said. "Is it possible some folks will leave? Sure. Is it likely? Yeah."
Sheriff John Warner said employees went about their days as normal on Wednesday.
"Everyone came in and went to work. I think that really exemplifies what good employees we have," he said.
Warner said about 30 percent of the office's employees are expected to leave, which is typical when a new sheriff - Republican or Democrat - is elected.
"Traditionally, every time there is an election, you can expect at least a 30 percent turnover," he said. "I would say, though, that the worst thing a new sheriff can do is come in and clean house and start firing everyone. It takes time to get to know your new employees and see if they can work under your management style."