Trust in public office is a hard thing to come by. It takes hard work to foster and build on trust and only a moment to destroy it. The recent indictment announcement regarding Mr. Strain has me thinking more about the future of St. Tammany Parish more now than ever. Mr. Strain’s alleged behavior is a breach of public trust and he is now in the hands of the criminal justice system. The process has started and he will be judged by his peers as a result and a verdict eventually handed down.
However, my attention is on the future of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and how we are viewed currently. We as a community want to trust our leaders and believe they have our best interest in mind and will do the right thing when no one is looking. That is really a simple expectation and not far fetched – Right?
I was excited to see change come to the Sheriff’s Office in 2016 and had an expectation that the new administration would bleed integrity and trust. No one more than me wanted to see that positive change so we could watch our law enforcement community grow back in touch with our citizens.
I quickly learned that applying my individual expectations to someone else’s moral compass was a mistake and led me to disappointment.
Since I’ve been on the campaign trail my message to people has been one of rebuilding trust. Rebuilding trust through transparency, honesty, and accountability. Unfortunately we quickly find that a politician’s goals are often in direct opposition of that message and are primarily interested in political office for selfish or short-sighted reasons.
I’m sure some will say, wait Nick you’re a politician now – All I can say is God I hope not now or ever. However, I do want to be a great representative for my community – I certainly hope that doesn’t make me a bad fit for the job. Needless to say, if your character is weak, then your weaknesses will eventually show.
Over the last 10 to 12 years our failures in local government have been character failures and not necessarily competence failures. Pay attention to what is happening around you because the future of our community will depend on it.
Nick Tranchina, candidate for St. Tammany Parish Sheriff
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