Facebook question of the week

Residents eager to learn what to expect of new sheriff Michelle Cook

By Wesley LeBlanc wesley@opcfla.com
Posted 8/26/20

CLAY COUNTY – Michelle Cook soon will the mantle of Clay County Sheriff, and residents appear excited about the change.

Voters decide every four years who they deem fit to serve as the leader of …

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Facebook question of the week

Residents eager to learn what to expect of new sheriff Michelle Cook

Posted

CLAY COUNTY – Michelle Cook soon will the mantle of Clay County Sheriff, and residents appear excited about the change.

Voters decide every four years who they deem fit to serve as the leader of local law enforcement. They chose Darryl Daniels in 2016 and four years later, they chose Cook. We asked Clay Today readers what they think about the new sheriff for the Facebook Question of the Week. While Cook seems to have support, although there are those who aren’t so sure about her yet.

“Absolutely love that she was elected,” resident Susan Soltys said posted. “Out with the bad, in with the good. She needs to clean house now.”

Mike Porter believes Cook has already begun to clean house, saying she has plans to cancel some of “Daniel’s wasteful spending.” Teresa Sanday said she’s excited about having a sheriff with maternal instincts. She said instincts like those are especially helpful for the neighborhoods of Clay County as they need empathy and proactive solutions to problems.

Much of the talk for this week’s Facebook Question of the Week centered on some of the things Daniels had done in his tenure with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

“I thought Sheriff Daniels and the CCSO were doing a fine job but was disappointed by his behavior,” Domenic Musco said. “I also did not love some of his publicity antics around deputizing armed citizens. This felt like a grasp at attention for political reasons and not a practical solution.”

“I’m optimistic that Sheriff Cook will do an assessment and keep all the good parts of the previous Sheriff’s policies – engaging the community and ensuring we’re safe and rooting out crime – but keep a Clay-centric focus.”

Even some residents who didn’t vote for her wish Cook well. Eric Newcom said he didn’t vote for her but that he wishes her well. Amy Bachman-Cliett said she hopes Cook does a great job, despite not having voted for her.

There are those who aren’t excited about Cook winning the election. Resident Rebecca Maxwell said that she’s not “jumping for joy” because Cook failed to address what she sees as the top issue facing the community: racial tensions.

“Being put out as our new sheriff, race relations are extremely important – especially in this climate – and people of color shouldn’t be fearful that the new sheriff has a track record of arresting men and women who don’t look like her.”

Others pointed out that they aren’t happy about someone who doesn’t currently live in the county winning the election. Porter Waldron said he doesn’t like that Cook “has no [stake] in the county.”

Despite the split feelings between residents, Cook will be the new sheriff and what she does over the next four years will determine how this conversation goes in 2024.

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