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Front Page » January 18, 2005 » Opinion » Letter to the Editor: Stereotyping is unfair
Published 3,913 days ago

Letter to the Editor: Stereotyping is unfair

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Flagstaff, Arizona


I'd like to answer to Dave Cunningham's apology to the ladies (Sun Advocate Nov. 23).

I'm not sure you would call this psychology or dysfunctional families as Dave did in his letter. I spent 27 years in law enforcement, 19 years for Price City and eight years as Carbon County Sheriff during which time I dealt with every kind of person in every kind of situation and received hundreds of hours of training. I am and have been a member of the Carbon County Sheriff's Posse for over 50 years. Mr. Cunningham made one statement that I will agree with.

"Our sheriff's posse club was one of the outstanding clubs in the state for many, many years."

We were involved in a large variety and more events than he can even imagine. I could fill half a page in the paper with all this. Our wives and children were involved with us, supported us in many community events and projects. Some even out of state. We were incorporated and had a constitution, bylaws and rules that we went by. We had 33 active members and a waiting list of those wanting to join. We assisted the sheriff's department and city police in many things that we cannot do today because of todays rules concerning mandatory certification of peace officers. We have a book of bylaws that kept honesty, integrity and respect which were enforced by the four officers of the organization. We acquired the property outside of the city limits in north east Price for our horses and equipment after having to move out of two previous locations. We then built corrals, an arena and a clubhouse which has been the envy of many riding clubs in the state. We gave up our rodeo grounds which was needed for an elementary school which now houses the school board offices.

We were instrumental in getting the fairgrounds and race track built. We put money into it. Back many years ago we were the envy of the Jeep Search and Rescue because of our organization and of the facilities we had. Since that time they have moved forward and have developed a wonderful organization, at the same time the posse has moved backwards.

Everyone knows that without rules and regulations that are obeyed an organization has chaos. Our articles of incorporation, constitution, and bylaws have governed us for years; they are what helped build the posse and the respect of the community. The past approximately 15 years, the standards of the club have been let down. The organization has failed to comply with the articles of incorporation, constitution and bylaws. Meetings are not controlled, the grounds, clubhouse, corrals, that older members worked so hard to obtain and build are run down and not maintained. Some members do not have the required uniforms.

Motions were made to change articles of incorporation and bylaws. When the changes were voted down new members were recruited who knew what the present bylaws were but they joined the ranks of those who wanted to change them. There are other riding clubs in the county who have both men and women members. Why didn't these men join those clubs?

Throughout the years other clubs in the state have asked for copies of our bylaws and constitution because of our successful long term operation. Older members were stopped from voting and women not being in the club has caused much controversy. That subject has been brought up for a vote five or six times and voted down every time, yet there have been officers and members who will not accept the decision. There have been threats about disbanding the club if they didn't get their yes vote. It has been stated that the sheriff will dissolve his affiliation with the club if it wasn't done.

A few of the posse hired a well known local attorney to research our constitution and bylaws, his official legal opinion is all members could vote, we are not under the control of the civil rights act, and are completely legal the way we have operated for 56 years. A copy of this was given the officers of the club and the sheriff.

I personally have not heard any derogatory remarks made about women in our meetings. All members have wives, mothers, daughters, etc. If the captain heard what he said he did, he had the authority and should have taken care of it then and there and not aired his complaint in the newspaper.

Times change but I have never heard it said that you had to vote a certain way. This is not the American way. The sheriff's posse has operated successfully for 56 years under Sheriff Joe Dudler, Sheriff Joe Holman, Sheriff Albert Passic, Sheriff A. Ross Horsley and Sheriff James Robertson with no problems concerning the articles of incorporation, bylaws or rules.

It's the posse, not women that Mr. Cunningham owes an apology to.

I apologize to the remaining good members of the posse for this letter, but the ex-captain's letter needed to be answered.

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January 18, 2005
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