April 30, 2006

Mike Huff Discussion

A spot for discussion of the candidacy of Mike Huff for Rock Island County Sheriff. Please keep comments on topic and civil.

UPDATE: The Huff campaign sent me a letter from a AFSCME council and requested I post it on the blog.

It states that Huff has received the endorsement of AFSCME Council 31 due to his union activism. The council president also states that Grchan has "consistently violated the rights of AFSCME members and others who work for the sheriff's department".


At 1/18/2006 5:32 PM, Blogger EMDEMO said...

Go Mike. Campaign is looking great. Definately will be at announcment and fundraiser.

At 1/23/2006 3:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why no Grchen tab on your site!

At 1/23/2006 6:36 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

By the way.. it's a "link", not a tab....
But at any rate, the reason there is no link to a Grchan website is that, to my knowledge, there isn't one.

I usually post candidate links if they at least have a website where people can find out more about them, and a discussion area to discuss what they find there.

I suppose I should at least put up a discussion link for Grchan. I will do so when I get to it, hopefully soon.

At 2/05/2006 8:47 AM, Blogger EMDEMO said...

Hey dope,

There is a fundraisor for Mike Huff this thursday. February 9th from 5pm to 7pm at the Town and Country bowling ally on 11th st in Rock Island.

There is also another fundraisor for Huff on February 24th from 5pm to 8pm at the East End Bolders Club in Moline.

At 2/06/2006 10:52 AM, Blogger EMDEMO said...

Correction on the February 24th fundraisor for Huff.

It is going to be held on Feb. 24th from 5pm to 8pm, but the location is in the process of being changed. I will let you know within a day. Thank You!

By the way, the Feb. 24th fundraisor is going to be an A.F.S.C.M.E. sponsored event. The area (AFSCME)P.E.O.P.L.E. party has endorsed Mike Huff for Sheriff of Rock Island County.

Again Thank You!

At 2/06/2006 4:39 PM, Blogger EMDEMO said...

The AFSCME sponsored fund raiser is Feb. 24th, from 5pm to 8pm at Sam's Hideaway. Wells Fargo bowling alley.

At 3/08/2006 10:39 AM, Blogger EMDEMO said...

Rock Island County States Attorney Jeff Terronez and the upper Rock Island County Fire and Police Chiefs are hosting a fundraisor for Mike Huff for Sheriff.

This will be on March 10th (Friday) from 6pm to 9 pm at the Rapids City Village Hall (12th st @ 4th ave Rapids City.) Donations are $6.00 at the door. Food provided by The Brothers restaurant.

Come one come all. Hope to see you there.

At 3/11/2006 10:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Huff has one current lawsuit against the county, and another one that paid him thousands. As a taxpayer of this county, Huff does not have my vote.

At 3/12/2006 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just finished reading the Saturday Dispatch. In reading about the chili supper I began to wonder what type of canidate would list endorsements that he does not have.
I would guess that yes he does have the support of some of those chiefs. It is also evident that he does not have the support of at least a few of them. In the add they make it sound as if all of the chiefs backed him. to quote emdemo on this site. " Rock Island county SA Jeff Terronez and the upper RI County Fire and Police Chiefs are hosting"
What gives. I can not see voting for someone that has a tendency to be misleading in their statements and political adds. I will continue to support Sheriff Grchan. At least he has not mislead the voting public with false endorsements.

At 3/12/2006 11:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the false endorsements Mike Grchan listed on his fundraiser invitations? Mike Jacobs to name one. If Grchan is such a great sheriff, why won't the FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) endorse him? These are his own deputies that will not support him. But, in the end, all of these "endorsements" don't mean a whole lot. Grchan had a number of endorsements in the last election, but only got 38% of votes. All that should matter to RI County voters are the facts: Mike Grchan has fired and suspended numerous employees for exercising their rights as union members. Mike Grchan has wasted thousands of taxpayer dollars fighting his own employees in court. Mike Grchan has punished employees for not supporting him. Mike Grchan has betrayed a number of his closest supporters. Mike Huff is an honest man with enough supervisory credentials to run the Sheriff's Department the way it should be run. He will treat his employees with decency and respect instead of trying to intimidate them. Huff has my vote on March 21st.

At 3/12/2006 11:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to remind the above poster that the citizens of Rock Island County aren't electing a Union steward or voting for "best boss".

This is an election for Sheriff, not a referendum on some union beef.

People want a good Sheriff who watches their money and does what a sheriff does effectively.

All the Union complaints, which seem to be Huff's entire campaign, while valid, don't move voters. As a matter of fact, a large number of voters might consider Grchan standing up to the Union to be good policy in the interests of taxpayers.

Again, I'm sure your gripes are valid, but if we're voting on whether to allow the union to take over the Sheriff's department, I'm not sure that most people would go for it.

At 3/13/2006 1:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, all of my "gripes" aside, I think voters would by moved by the fact that Grchan spent $50,000 of taxpayers money on an attorney for himself during a lawsuit. And doesn't the fact that Grchan would fire someone for no reason other than disliking him (kevin gibbs -fmcs case no.: 050217-02120) speak volumes about his character and integrity or lack thereof?

At 3/13/2006 3:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I note that you say that the FOP did not endorse Sheriff Grchan. I understand that to be true. I also wonder then why if Mr Huff is such a stand up union official for the FOP did they not endorse him. What seems more out of place to you. To me if Mr Huff was such a stand up FOP represenitive he should have the endorsement of his own FOP union. Yet he does not. Seems weird to me!!!!!!!!!!!.

At 3/13/2006 4:18 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 1:13 above...

I'll admit that all you raise is questionable. But again, it depends on your perspective.

I don't know that this would be a perfect analogy or not, but suppose that the Sheriff is the equivelent of the CEO or president of a company... which in some respects he is.

If the CEO of a company with a similar sized budget and workforce fired someone because they didn't like them (again, this is taking your word on this... there may be more than one side to this story) do you think the shareholders or owners would throw him out just for that?

I doubt it. They'd say that if he couldn't work with the person he'd fired due to personal differences, then go ahead and get rid of them for the good of the company.

Generally, the top guy of any organization can pretty much fire anyone for any reason, and they do routinely.

Is it fair? Probably not. But that's the way it works.

But there is no rule that a boss can't fire or demote an employee that he considers insubordinate or no longer effective in his position because of personal differences or conflict. For a boss to continue to put up with it if it is causing problems is irresponsible.
Hell, I've been bounced for much the same thing myself. I didn't like it, but hey, they're the boss.
And if I couldn't work with them and had a personal dislike for them, then I didn't really want to work for them anyway.

As to the county paying Grchan's legal bills. As weird as it seems, this isn't all that unusual at all either.

I'm always surprised at the fact that this is the case in private industry as well. For instance, Deere employees often have their legal fees paid for by the company, even in divorces! I know it's weird, but it's common practice. There must be some rationale behind it, though I'm not sure what it is.

And doesn't the union pay for their members legal fees as well?

Let's face it, anyone in a position such as sheriff is going to be a target for numerous lawsuits. An individual simply can't be expected to finance their legal defense out of their own pocket or no one would EVER take the job!
Your example proves the case. $50,000 would wipe most people out.

So of course that is a standard part of any contract for sheriff. I'm sure that if Huff were sheriff, he'd enjoy the same benefit, and he'd likly face several lawsuits himself.

I appreciate the civil tone to this debate. You're all to be commended.

But I doubt we'll change each other's minds. I support Grchan and I've not been purseuded by anything I've read here to change my mind.

But that's just me. There are a LOT of people out there, and they likely feel differently.

We'll all find out in 8 days.

At 3/13/2006 5:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The disturbing thing about the three discharge cases (that I know of) involving county employees is that all three individuals have been reinstated by an independant arbitrator.

The only taxpayer money that the union has spent is the money that was used trying to get these people's jobs back, which they did successfully.

I realize this is a Sheriff's election, not an election for "best boss." But, no one has more influence over the morale of the workers than the boss. Personally, I would rather have a high morale amongst the deputies that patrol the streets of the county I live in.

At 3/13/2006 5:56 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Morale is important in any "business", so to speak, and the sheriff's dept. is no exception I'm sure.

It is different from non-union operations however, where things probably wouldn't have went the way you've said they did.

I personally think that there should be a recourse to go to arbitration, and since these people's dismissal or whatever were overturned, it seems that justice was done, at least from two points of view.

In the private non-union sector, it's doubtful the person who was fired would want their jobs back under the circumstances. They'd likly take it as a strong hint that they weren't wanted.

Of course, that's easier said than done, especially when you've been trained to be an officer and there might not be employment opportunities just laying around at other places. (though I'm sure there must be some in security, or on other forces, etc.)

I'd wish that we could have Grchan's point of view on these things. Since his decisions were overturned, at least on the merits, it appears he overstepped his bounds. But obviously, he must have felt it was justified or else he wouldn't have mounted a defense (though who knows, maybe it was just to save face)

I'm sorry to hear about the apparent bad relationship between some deputies and their boss. Obviously, this isn't the ideal situation.

But how would Huff magically make things hunky-dory? And even if it satisfied those who are unhappy now, isn't it inevitable that personel problems will emerge in the future (as they always do) and that Huff will find himself in the position of having to chose what he feels is best for discipline and preserving his authority, etc. and what may be best for his employees?

Again, I'm not knowledgable about the inner workings of the Sheriff's department (other than a few unfortunate encounters with deputies) and am just speculating, but I imagine that any sheriff has to constantly try to get things done with a budget that is far too low to actually do them.
In that situation, someone is always going to be unhappy, because resources are scarce and hard decisions have to be made as to where they go and where they don't go. And the sheriff is the one who ultimately has to make those decisions.
With every dicision like that, there is going to be someone who is satisfied, and someone who isn't. Over time, there's going to be a lot of people who aren't happy and harbor grudges.
And not only that, but the Sheriff also has to maintain a certain level of care and providing for prisoner welfare, conform to state and federal requirements, etc.

And since we were talking about lawsuits, I can only imagine that the jail is a lawsuit factory for prisoners who supposedly have been mistreated, are injured, or don't get proper medical attention, etc.

I suppose I'm rambling now, but at any rate, in a toss up, I'd still give Mike the job if he still wants it. Somewhere down the road he'll be retiring and we'll all get to have a new sheriff in town, so to speak. But I still think he deserves another term if he wants it. (Now WHY he'd want to serve another term is beyond me.... haha. With all this crap to contend with from all sides, and having to run for election on top of it....I don't know why anyone would want to do it! haha.)

At 3/18/2006 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two things, In reference to Jason Allen being fired. He was fired because he did not do his rounds properly and somebody committed suicide when he did not do them. Regardless of whether the jail was short or not. He had a job to do and it was not done, period. I would say fire him also. Secondly, there is high morale among the deputies, expect when you get to day shift. That is where you have the disgrunteled workers that tend to complain about it all. They are just there to collect their paycheck

At 3/19/2006 7:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huff, add in the paper today looks great. That is what we need in the county. Someone with integrity. My vote is with you.

At 3/21/2006 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You gotta be kidding me? We are debating what supposedly goes on internally in a Sheriff Department and Huff is the "best candidate".?!!! Gimme a break!
Where does Huff get all his "experience" from? Suing the Sheriff over his misdoings or his "managerial experience" that the sheriff gave him??
I think not. The only people voting for Huff are disgrunteled employees that have been "done wrong" by the current sheriff...Mind you, these were "top notch" troublemakers to begin with.
If Huff is elected, it is just a whole new set of problems that will be brought in by his flunkies that think they are really gonna "turn everything around"...hahahahaha

At 3/22/2006 1:12 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I had to chuckle when I read the sentence in the Dispatch article which maintained that unlike the previous campaign where employee morale was an issue, this time around it wasn't brought into it.

HA!! Who fed them that load???

It's been a constant topic and argument for Huff supporters here.

Apparently now, Sheriff department morale will be sky high and there will never be a union demand that Mr. Huff won't grant or greivance which he won't side with the employee. Let's hope Mr.Huff is successful at the job he's won.

At 3/23/2006 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't be a sore loser Dope. It's ok, the machine broke.


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