The thinking was, Drew Alexander would seek re-election for Summit County sheriff. Then, he opted to retire, setting in motion the close of a strong tenure. Would his former deputy, Garry Moneypenny, run for the office? He chose to remain on the Akron City Council. Now two candidates, Steve Barry and Frank Martucci Jr., are vying in the Democratic primary for county sheriff. The winner will face Randy Rivers, a former Cuyahoga Falls police captain, in the fall.
We recommend the election of Steve Barry on March 6.
Barry retired in 2009 at the rank of captain after three decades at the sheriff’s office. And there resides the strength of his candidacy. He has worked in just about every area of the department, among other places, in the patrol division, as a detective, with the hostage negotiations team, on the organized crime task force and as a supervisor in the jail. He served for a short time as the acting police chief for Twinsburg Township. He appears eager to apply his knowledge and experience.
Barry has the priorities right, stressing the challenge of managing the jail in a period of declining budgets. He also understands that old ways are not sufficient, that a crucial aspect of leadership at this point is lifting the office’s morale.
Frank Martucci says many of the same things, including putting emphasis on alternative sentencing for nonviolent offenders. He would bring his own impressive record to the position, working for three decades in the Akron Police Department, retiring three years ago as a detective.
Martucci argues that as valuable as his many policing skills are, the most telling aspect of his candidacy are the fresh eyes he would devote to the department. He grasps the discomfort that may result, and the hard work that would be required to gain respect from the ranks. He sees the dividend in the end in a new dynamic for the office.
That is an appealing argument. Yet, in this race, Steve Barry makes the more persuasive case that he sees the department’s needs and has the understanding and skills to address them.