Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thank you!

As I write this final blog, the concept of being finished with the campaign trail is still very surreal; and so are the results. In some ways, I will be sad to stop this team's energy. In other ways, we are all excited to get our lives back. The campaign has been a consuming force for about 6 months and it is difficult to just "stop the train". I still find myself looking for sign locations and wanting to knock on doors or drop literature in paper boxes. This too shall pass.

A return to "routine" will take some time, but we are very excited to get there.
A lot of people worked very hard and they all deserve a much needed vacation.
Thank you to our campaign team for your efforts, your creativity, your initiative, your follow through and your commitment to remaining positive! You were all amazing in your roles and I simply cannot thank you enough.

Our family will certainly have been changed forever as a result of this process. This is not only because of a new role for me, but because of our experiences in 2010. For the first time ever, our family skipped a vacation and spent months dropping off literature, participating in parades, attending events and hanging signs. As I look back on the sacrifices made, I hope our children will have some happy memories of the parades and the laughs shared with so many friends.

We have seen the best and the worst come out in people along this path. We have also made many new friends and shared numerous new experiences together. We have been richly blessed by an amazing campaign team, strengthened by numerous friends and inspired by thousands of supporters.

This victory is only possible because we all sought to join together and secure a positive future for Anoka County. My family and I are extremely grateful for each of you and the role you played in this success. I will continue to work hard, stay positive and fight to be responsible with what has been entrusted to me.
I thank you for your trust, your support and your partnership!

James Stuart
Anoka County Sheriff-Elect

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Truth Behind the Rhetoric

Thank you very much for your ongoing support!

Let me apologize for the length and focus of this blog. Although I am extremely happy with the continued successes of our campaign's efforts, there have been rough spots along the way. The campaign trail has certainly presented it's ugly underbelly as people immaturely steal or vandalize signs, create lies or even naively just choose to believe rumors rather than research the truth. It will continue to be our team's mission to stay on the high road and provide the facts rather than engage in meaningless banter.

Recently, there has been some discussion about the county rules as it relates to the mandatory leave of absence that I am taking and the use of vacation time etc. Because I want our supporters and all voters to be educated and know the TRUTH, I am going to lay out several questions that have been recently raised along with the truthful answers. Below are four of the questions being raised, but please contact us if you have ANY questions that you want answered.

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1) Is it true that you have to take an unpaid leave of absence during your campaign run?

Yes. The current Anoka County rules require that any (non-elected) county employee who chooses to run for an elected position within Anoka County government take a leave of absence from work. The employee may use remaining vacation time on the books during the leave.


2) Were you allowed to carry over more vacation time than is typical?

Yes. As the Project Manager for the Sheriff's Office and Regional Forensics Lab building project, I put in extensive hours (approximately 800 hours over my schedule) to ensure that the project was completed correctly, on time and under budget. I worked long days (without overtime or compensation) during the project because I knew the project needed my focused attention. As the only office representative managing the task, there would have been a significant impact on the project if I chose to leave town or enjoy a vacation. Therefore, I was told that there were two options available:
1) Ask for an exception to the typical county rule governing vacation hour annual carry over. This exception has been granted under numerous other circumstances to employees around the county.
2) Choose to voluntarily lose the vacation time that I had accrued, but not used, and subject myself to further sacrifice for the benefit of the county.
I opted to request the exception so that my family could make up for lost time and take a significant family vacation during the summer of 2010.
I did continue to conserve my vacation after the building project was completed in preparation for the summer. I remained mindful that no one, including the Sheriff himself, knew if the Sheriff was firmly going to seek re-election or not. I wanted to be prepared for whatever the future held.
An effective leader plans for what is possible. In Risk Management there is an expression; "If it can be predicted, it can be prevented".
In many cases, proper planning has even defined leaders.
I planned to have enough vacation balance for a great family vacation (which was even planned out) or be ready to run for office if the Sheriff opted to not run again. Needless to say, when Sheriff Andersohn made his announcement that he would not seek re-election, our vacation plans were once again put on hold. For the record- I have since exhausted my vacation hours and am not enjoying the luxury of an income.


3) Were any county rules related to vacation time "stretched" to benefit your run for office?

No. As I wrote, the county rules, as well as the exception allowances are clearly laid out. The county practice of allowing exceptions to the carry over limit is specifically designed for unusual circumstances. Being trusted to be the Project Manager for the first large scale, multi-divisional facility project in the 153 year history of the Anoka County Sheriff's Office is at a minimum, unusual. Although challenging, It was also an honor to be trusted with this project.

This exception to vacation carry over had NOTHING to do with my run for elected office. No one granted me any favors, and I didn't even know I would be seeking election at the time I filed for the exception.
I do not think it is unreasonable to try and keep the benefit (vacation hours) that I had earned but had been unable to use while remaining effective in my assigned task.


4) Did you know the current Sheriff wasn't going to run for re-election before other members of your office?

Absolutely not. The reality is that all of the office staff learned of the Sheriff's decision within minutes of everyone else. During a command staff meeting, Sheriff Andersohn told us that he was not going to seek re-election. Moments later, he sent an e-mail to the rest of the staff that he had previously drafted.
It was his strong desire to be fair and equitable to everyone involved as it was unclear if there might be one or fifteen members of the office choosing to run for Sheriff. Immediately after the Sheriff's announcement; I announced that I intended to run for office. The decision to run (when Sheriff Andersohn retired) was made with my family a few years ago.
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Thank you for taking the time to read this information; especially if you were wondering about these topics. It is our team's goal to ensure that the voters get the information they deserve so that they may make an informed decision on November 2nd.
If anyone has any other questions, please ask. I do not have any secrets that I am concealing and I truly appreciate those of you who have already taken the time to ask these questions rather than believe the rumors being spread. Sadly, it can just be simpler for others to choose to spread lies rather than learn the truth.

We will continue to push forward along the "high road" and ignore when others try to attack us rather than promote their own agenda. Although we consider the attacks on my integrity absurd, I will continue to address the concerns raised by any of our citizens and our supporters (present & future).
You all deserve to know the truth!

I believe that the focus should be on the candidates and our proven abilities, backgrounds and our plans for the future rather than on trying to taint reality by fabricating rumors and negative implications.

A quick note to the Stuart for Sheriff supporters:
Stay on the high road; it will prevail!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Countdown is on!

This summer has certainly been a whirlwind adventure!
The campaign trail has brought many experiences that I would not have anticipated. Unfortunately, along the path, I have seen that politics can bring out an unwarranted negativity in people that exposes the essence of who they are. However, the good news is that most of our experiences this summer were quite positive.

As our family hung signs, knocked on doors and attended numerous parades, community events and rallies, we were continually humbled by the outpouring of support and friendship from all 21 Anoka County communities. I learned of your concerns as well as your dreams about the future of Anoka County. My family and I thank you very much for your input and for the inspiration to keep reaching higher and to keep running faster!

As we move into the final month (yes it is that time already), I am asking that all of our supporters "dig in" like never before. This is a pivotal time, not just for the Anoka County Sheriff's Office, but for Anoka County as a whole. We need all of our supporters to call your friends, tell your neighbors and e-mail your relatives to keep spreading the word about our campaign. If you have any additional sign locations on well traveled roads, please let us know. If you, or anyone you know, is willing to make a financial contribution of any size to help us cover the costs of ensuring a positive future for the county, NOW is the time.
We need everyone off the bench and on the field as we move into the final quarter.

There will continue to be difficult times that lie ahead for our society.
We need a Chief Law Enforcement Officer who can make the difficult decisions while keeping the "big picture" in proper perspective. We need an experienced manager who has proven their ability to be fiscally efficient and responsible with the tax payers hard earned dollars. We need a respected leader who has demonstrated a strong work ethic and the tenacity to commit to evaluating our services to the community to ensure that they are as effective and efficient as possible while not lowering the standards. We need a Sheriff who has a strong vision for community service and collaboration and making Anoka County a safe and positive place for all of us to raise our families.
I have worked hard to be an active leader in the office and in the community. I have not done this as a campaign plan, but because making a difference is what our family is all about.
If I have earned your trust, then I need you to join our team and help us finish strong during this final month. Many opportunities are available, just let us know on the website how you can help us be victorious on November 2nd.

I thank each one of you for your support, your friendship, and your commitment to helping us secure a more positive future for Anoka County!

Respectfully,

James Stuart

Monday, July 5, 2010

Yard Signs

We have moved into the next phase of our campaign- yard signs. The team and our supporters will continue to do the amazing work they have become known for in the other areas, but now we have an additional team ramping up with this new endeavor too.

You can help make a difference and secure a more positive future for Anoka County.
Do you have a great (high traffic) Anoka County location for us to put a "Stuart for Sheriff" sign?
Are you willing to stop at some key locations and ask them if we can put one there?
Do you want to help us put up the signs?
If you are willing to help us out in any of these ways, ALL effort would be GREATLY appreciated!

Please send me an e-mail or register on our website if you can help out. I thank you for the ongoing and growing support!

James

James@StuartforSheriff.com
www.StuartforSheriff.com

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Parade Season

Although I have often heard of "road construction season", I have never previously thought about parades this way. That was then...

Now, our daily adventure often consists of planning for and participating in many such events. We had an amazing start to this unique "season" in the life of elected officials and many others. Our team came out in impressive force as we met hundreds, and interacted with thousands of people. Our team showed great energy as we ran along the route and distributed "Stuart for Sheriff" stickers, literature, buttons, magnets and, of course, candy. All of this was done as we followed our team of banner carriers and an incredible float.


I am so grateful for the unstoppable enthusiasm of our team and the ever increasing energy behind our supporters. I am humbled by the outpouring of support and will work hard to ensure that these efforts were not in vain.


Thank you all very much! I look forward to serving you as your Sheriff.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

More focused than ever!

Now that I have officially filed to run for the position of Sheriff, I have started my (policy mandated) leave of absence from the Sheriff's Office. Although it brings some challenges, it also has the benefit of allowing me to focus more intensely on the single job of winning this campaign.

I am excited to continue gaining momentum in the campaign that we began six weeks ago.
This has already been a wild ride as I continue to be humbled by your support, involved in our communities, dedicated to our citizens and committed to win.

Keep referring people to our sites, and spreading the word of our campaign so that we can stand together as stakeholders for a positive direction for the future of Anoka County.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Filing is Open...

A question has been raised by many of our supporters who were curious why no one, including me, has filed for the position of Sheriff for Anoka County yet. There are likely a few reasons...

For any "internal" candidates (members of ACSO) who will run, they are required to take a leave of absence according to county rules. Those of us that this applies to will be away from the office from the time they file, until they are no longer a candidate. The deadline for filing for elected office is June 1st and I will be waiting until that day to make the most out of my available vacation days.

For "external" (non-ACSO) candidates, they may be waiting to see what the competition looks like before they opt to put forth major amounts of effort, time and money for a cause that they may not be passionate about or even fully understand.

Rest assured, I will be filing and our team intends to win!
It is because I AM passionate and our team is fully committed to the future of the Anoka County Sheriff's Office and the citizens we proudly serve that we went "all in" at the moment Sheriff Andersohn opted to not seek re-election. We have already made thousands of new friends and I am truly humbled by the outpouring of support.
As many try to decide if they want to buy a ticket; we are happy to say that we are already on the train and it has left the station- full speed ahead.

Please keep spreading the word about our website and tell your friends why you support our campaign. Together, we will make this campaign the foundation of a solid future for Anoka County.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Batten Down the Hatches

To coin an old naval term; to "batten down the hatches" is to make the ship more secure and ready for rough waters. As we proceed full speed ahead on this journey, there is likely to be some challenging times ahead. That is the case with any campaign process.

Having said that, we have had yet another amazing week of successes and support. I am growing more confident each day that our team's spirit, energy, drive and focus on success is truly unstoppable. Please continue to refer your friends to our sites and contact me directly if there are any unanswered questions.

We are here for you.
We are here to make a difference.
We are here to win.

Keep up the great work and thank you for your support!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Off & Running

Thank you so much to all of you for the incredible outpouring of support as we dive "all in" on this campaign trail. The commitment of the Stuart for Sheriff Volunteer Committee has surpassed anything I could have hoped for. Our entire team is dedicated to an adventure "larger than self". We are striving to ensure that the future of the Anoka County Sheriff's Office maintains the tradition of excellence that has been established throughout history. With your help, we will continue to broaden partnerships, pursue excellence, promote safety and provide outstanding service to the citizens that we proudly serve.
Thank you again for your ongoing support!

Welcome!

Welcome to the "James Stuart for Anoka County Sheriff" blog! Visit our new website at http://www.stuartforsheriff.com