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Shasta County Sheriff candidates meet in public forum

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The two candidates running for Shasta County Sheriff sat down together for a public forum for the first time since their campaigns began.

The community of Lakehead came together to ask the two men how Lakehead is going to get more protection than it does now. Many mentioned that they want a resident deputy, saying they used to have one.

"I think most people here are not satisfied with how much tax revenue is generated in this area and not much representation," said one Lakehead resident.

The residents said it sometimes takes an hour for a deputy to respond to a call. One man said that's not just in Lakehead.

"How are you going to protect me, and the community? Not only here in Lakehead, but also in Shingletown and any other outliers in the whole county."

Sheriff Tom Bosenko said he is currently working on fixing the problem, but some of it is out of his hands.

"We are hiring the people to fill those vacancies. They are going to be assigned to those areas," Bosenko said. "With Shingletown, I was at a community meeting, I made a commitment to the people there publicly that they are going to have an officer assigned in Shingletown in June, we are going to be assigning an officer here [in Lakehead], it will be a commuter officer, for the tourist season. We are building up our staff now with the budget that we have."

He says the deputy shortage is due to low pay and benefits, his opponent John Greene said it's about morale within the department. He said employees are leaving for similar paying jobs.

"When talking to the hard working men and women in the department, the indication from them is there is such a great divide now, it's an 'us versus them' mentality, and an 'us vs. them' management style," Greene said. "I just think that it's apparent that, nothing against the sheriff, but I think it's become too political and we need to take the politics out of local law enforcement the best we can."

Greene said "If you don't have happy employees, you won't have a good product." He mentioned several times the importance of "rebuilding within" the department.

As people filed out of the Lions Club building in Lakehead, only two agreed to give their opinions on camera. Both of them sharing the same opinion.

"Tom Bosenko, I think he's been doing a good job and Greene didn't really tell us much. He kind of agreed with what Tom Bosenko said. So, it's like, you didn't bring any fresh ideas to the floor," said Becky Montgomery.

"They both had a lot to say, and my opinion is that the original sheriff would probably be a good one, I'm not so sure about somebody new," said another Lakehead home owner.

The race continues until election day, June 5. You must be registered to vote by May 21. If you miss the May 21 deadline to register, you can cast a provisional ballot by completing a conditional voter registration and signing an affidavit.


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