OTTUMWA, Iowa — The candidate forum for Wapello County’s sheriff position took place Thursday evening.
Wapello County Residents filled the City Council Chambers of Ottumwa’s City Hall.
Citizens who attended had the opportunity to meet the candidates. They also had the chance to ask the candidates questions.
One of the questions that came up was what administrative experience each of the candidates had. This is how the candidates responded.
“I’m a great management guy for accounts, dollars. I went to college just for that—4.0 GPA, one thing I can do is learn. If I don’t know, I know how to learn,” said candidate Darren C. Batterson, who is also an Officer with the Ottumwa Police Department.
“When we’re working by ourselves, we administrate, we are responsible for the jail—we are acting sheriff at the time. We have to make a lot of decision when the sheriff chief deputy is not around and also as administrator on the boards that we administrate the staff and the director there,” said Todd Caldwell, who is a Deputy Sheriff for Wapello County.
“The way it works in the sheriff’s department is if you’re a deputy and you work weekends and you work nights you are automatically an administrator. You are automatically in charge of people that are in a jail or the dispatchers. So, I’ve worked nights for 18 years so somewhat I’ve been an administrator over the staff during that time,” said Jeff Layton, who also serves as a Deputy Sheriff for Wapello County.
“For the last six years I’ve been an administrator at the sheriff’s office with being chief deputy. The last two months—month and a half I’ve been interim sheriff—you know those are the qualifications that I’m bringing. Managing a $3 million budget, overseeing jail operations with over 100 inmates,” said Don Phillips, who is serving as the current Interim Sheriff for Wapello County.
The election to fill the sheriff’s position will take place on March 5th.