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Letters to the Editor

Election Letters to the Editor March 7 - Part 2

Dear Editor,

Being long time residents of rural Oregon we are naturally very interested in the health of our government, especially that of Ogle County. 

For quite some time we thought we had one of the best sheriff’s offices around but now it’s in need of repair. 

It is our belief that we are in dire need of a change. 

For the first time in a long time there is a three-way race for sheriff. 

Someone with a great amount of experience in police work, budgets and administration will be needed to bring integrity and much needed transparency to that office. 

With the experience Joe Drought has gathered during his 30 years in the field of law enforcement we feel he is the best choice and should be given a chance to guide the department.

The March 18 primary will decide that office’s fate. Please vote and vote intelligently.

Vote Joe Drought for Ogle County Sheriff.

Jerry and Judy Young


Judge supports Eric Morrow

Dear Editor,

As the former Chief Judge of the 15th Judicial Circuit and Presiding Judge of Ogle County, both men running for State’s Attorney practiced before me. 

Only one candidate has the depth of legal experience, has been deeply rooted in our community prior to this campaign, lived in our county his entire professional career, and has a documented voting record as a lifelong Republican…that man is Eric Morrow. 

Michael Mallon


Former Chief Judge of the 15th Judicial Circuit and Presiding Judge of Ogle County 

Retired judge supports Morrow

Dear Editor,

I have known Eric [Morrow] for more than 10 years, not only as a lawyer in my courtroom, but also as an involved citizen and dedicated family man.  

I wholeheartedly support his candidacy for Ogle County State’s Attorney.  

He has the legal background and the strong but compassionate sense of right and wrong that it takes to make an excellent State’s Attorney.  

When elected, he will be a highly effective voice for justice for all citizens of Ogle County.  

Stephen Pemberton


Former Chief Judge of the 15th Judicial Circuit and Presiding Judge of Ogle County  

Floski will vote for Morrow

Dear Editor, 

During my tenure as Ogle County State’s Attorney both candidates worked for me. 

I ask you to vote for Eric Morrow, because he has the right demeanor for, and proven dedication to Ogle County. 

Doug Floski


Former Ogle County State’s Attorney (1992-2003) 

Re-elect Sheriff Michael Harn

Dear Editor,

I urge Ogle County voters to support Michael Harn and re-elect him as our Ogle County Sheriff. 

Michael has almost 30 years’ experience in law enforcement and in the Ogle County Sheriff’s Department. 

Michael has reduced the sheriff’s department budget by $784,836.00 over the past four years of his term compared to the four year term of his predecessor. 

When Michael was first elected as the Ogle County Sheriff, he developed a partnership with the county board with a goal to foster a better relationship and ultimately control spending and keep costs in line. This accomplishment is unknown to past sheriff’s administrations. 

Unfortunately, there are some candidates that do not possess the ability to display leadership, present new ideas, and offer solutions. 

Their only ability is to launch a smear campaign against the incumbent. 

We see these tactics on a national level, but it is sad to see these types of antics enter into our local elections.

So join me and support Michael Harn and re-elect him as Ogle County Sheriff. 

Michael stands for leadership and has a proven track record.

Dennis Williams


Former Ogle County Board Member

Voters have a choice in March

Dear Editor,

The citizens of Ogle County have a choice.

On March 18 voters will be choosing one of three candidates to be our sheriff for the next four years. 

In my opinion there is only one that has the administrative, budget management, and police education along with over 30 years of police work. 

I know he and his wife lived in Mt. Morris after serving approximately 9 years as a military policeman. 

During this time he worked for the Ogle County Sheriff as a patrol deputy, K-9 handler, and detective. 

He then went on to better himself at the Rock Valley College Police Department. He has been chief of police there for the past 18 years. 

He is a certified instructor in many fields of police work. 

At present he has been very busy training school faculty in Ogle County and surrounding counties in a program called Active Shooter. 

This pertains to responding to a person who is at a school with the intent of doing bodily harm. 

He has education on terrorism and a firearms instructor. 

There are many more fields too long to mention. 

Check out his Facebook and website for much, much more information.

Vote for experience, fairness, and transparency. 

Vote Joe Drought for sheriff on March 18.

Tanya Bowers


Police Chief supports Rock

Dear Editor,

On March 18 we will be selecting our next Ogle County State’s Attorney and I urge you to retain Mike Rock in that position.  

I have been extremely happy with the continued effectiveness of this office after the Ogle County Board unanimously appointed Mike to be state’s attorney.  

By retaining Mike we can ensure that the office will continue to operate in the professional manner that law enforcement agencies need to effectively serve their communities.  

Mike knows the job after working in every area of the state’s attorney’s office from traffic cases to felony cases.  

A vote for Mike Rock will ensure that the experienced team of prosecutors and support personnel will continue to serve Ogle County in an effective manner.

Todd Murray 

Byron Police Chief

Support Rock on March 18

Dear Editor,

As a past county board member and as the past chairman of the State’s Attorney Committee for Ogle County, I take this opportunity to urge the voters of this fine county to support Mike Rock for state’s attorney.

I have had the opportunity to watch his man work in the courtroom. 

He is hard working and even intimidating. When he sets his Irish jaw, he means it! 

That’s what I want working for me against the bad guys who have broken our laws. 

Enough already. I want our reputation to be tough and uncompromising. If you do the crime, then plan to do the time.

Mike Rock is a fine husband and father. 

He has purchased a home in Byron and plans to spend many years with us, representing us, and protecting us. 

His children attend our schools and participate in our sports programs. 

His integrity is of the highest standards. 

If we will re-elect Mike he can move forward with goals and strategies to improve our Ogle County reputation as a great place to live and raise our families.

When an individual spends his spare time (and Mike has little of it!) playing and teaching hockey with youngsters as well as adults, that tells me he is brave and tough and yet very caring and patient. 

These are the qualities I want to see in our Ogle County State’s Attorney. Mike qualifies! 

Mike Rock receives my vote on March 18 for Ogle County State’s Attorney.

For a Rock-Solid future, please join me in supporting Mike Rock.

Lynne S. Kilker


Village President supports Rock

Dear Editor,

I am writing in support of Mike Rock. 

Mike has 20 years’ experience as an attorney and 9 of them are in the Ogle County State’s Attorney office. 

When Ben Roe was appointed to a judgeship, he recommended Mike as his replacement. 

The Ogle County Board took this recommendation and appointed Mike to the Ogle County State’s Attorney’s office unanimously. 

It was after this appointment when I first met Mike. 

He has made an extraordinary effort to attend as many functions around the county as he can. 

Of course, I notice his attendance the most in the town that I represent of Davis Junction. 

Mike is a very approachable person and can be seen speaking with a number of people about what is going on in the State’s Attorney’s office. 

I believe Mike Rock has done an outstanding job in this position and hope that you would give him your consideration to continue to serve the people of Ogle County as State’s Attorney. 

Ken Diehl 

Village President

Davis Junction

Morrow has the experience

Dear Editor

With regard to the upcoming primary election for state’s attorney of Ogle County, my choice is Eric Morrow.

Eric has the background, experience, and dedication to serve the people of Ogle County.

Eric is a life-long Republican and a community leader in our county.

He is president of the Ogle County Bar Association, president of the Foundation for Focus House and founding member of the Ogle County New Horizon Drug Court Team.

Eric has experience as a former assistant state’s attorney in Ogle County.

In addition to his law practice he was selected by Judge Stephen Pemberton and Judge Mike Mallon to be an Ogle County Public Defender.

I know Eric as a friend, an attorney, and consider him a person of very high character.

Please vote on March 18 and please consider making the right choice: Eric Morrow.


Robert Dillavou

Former Mayor of Forreston

Rock will serve Ogle the best

Dear Editor,

I believe that there are certain qualities needed in a person seeking the position of state’s attorney, both professionally and in personal life, including integrity, fairness, courtesy, loyalty, compassion and leadership. 

They should have the ability to see the whole picture, make sound decisions based on fact, and stand behind those decisions. 

Through working with Mike Rock as a fellow member of the Byron Kiwanis, I believe that he has all these qualities.

But most of all I believe a candidate for state’s attorney should have a proven prosecution record. 

Mike Rock is the candidate with 20-plus years of legal experience, the utmost respect for his profession, and is a firm and fair prosecutor. 

Retaining Mike Rock will ensure the best representation for the office of Ogle County State’s Attorney. 

Don’t forget to vote in the primary on March 18 and vote to retain Mike Rock – state’s  attorney.

Jan Sloan


Elect a new county sheriff

Dear Editor,

Remember to vote.

It’s time for a new sheriff. 

For the past 30 years I have operated a towing service in Mt. Morris.

During those years I had a good working relationship with past Ogle County Sheriffs. 

During the recent past my business was removed from the sheriff’s “No Preference” towing list because of his misuse of the $350 ordinance tow fee. 

This plus the storage and towing fees not being paid to my business for a certain unclaimed vehicle. 

It thus became my property after I refused a paltry offer by the sheriff. A promised return phone call from the sheriff has never happened.

Another candidate has no experience to be our sheriff, only that of car dealership service manager.

Approximately six years non-command police experience and being on the school board is not nearly enough.

By knowing this and much more, it is my opinion there is only one qualified candidate in the race for Ogle County Sheriff, and he is Joe Drought. 

With over 30 years of police work behind him of which the past 18 years as a police chief gives him the needed education and experience to be our next sheriff.

Please vote for Joe Drought on March 18.

Thank you,

Stan Ubben

Mt. Morris

Support Brian VanVickle

Dear Editor,

I would like to ask that you consider supporting Brian VanVickle for Sheriff of Ogle County. 

I was 32 when I was appointed fire chief of Rochelle. Some questioned whether I had the experience or maturity to handle the position. 

Twenty-four years later I still served as fire chief.

Years of service are to be admired, but they are by no means the measure of a person’s qualification or the depth of their capability to direct change within an organization. 

When I considered my support for the position of sheriff I looked for the person that I felt demonstrated the ability to lead rather than simply manage the department.

Management can be learned fairly easily, leadership is a much rarer quality. 

I feel that Brian VanVickle is the leader needed for the sheriff’s department. 

The fine men and women of the Ogle County Sheriff Department deserve a leader they can follow with the same pride they take while working the streets. 

That man is Brian VanVickle. 

Tom McDermott 

Rochelle Fire Chief (Retired)

Elect VanVickle as county sheriff

Dear Editor,

In March you as a voter have the opportunity to elect a sheriff.

I will ask that you elect Brian VanVickle to this top post.  

He is energetic, has experience and the know how to lead the department.

I know he will work faithfully with other departments to make the Ogle County Sheriff’s Office the pride of the future.  

I have had numerous conversations with him; he understands the public’s needs and budget restraints of this office.  

He will be a leader that we can all be proud of. 

Please do not miss the opportunity to elect this promising officer to the post of sheriff. You can count on him. I am.  

Please join me in March to put VanVickle in the county’s top law enforcement post.  

Restoring the public’s trust in this office is a must — Brian will get the job done.

Samuel Volkert


Former Stephenson County Sheriff

Ogle County resident

since 1998

VanVickle would be a huge asset

Dear Editor,

My name is David Brown, a retired Federal Employee with over 30 years of service, and have been a resident, property owner, and taxpayer of Ogle County for 40 years. 

I urge you to take a Republican ballot in the Primary Election on Tuesday March 18, and vote for Brian VanVickle for Ogle County Sheriff. 

Brian is a lifelong resident of Ogle County, Rochelle Police and Canine Officer, school board member, and has many community and family ties to Ogle County. 

I have known Brian for approximately 20 years, and find him to be a conscientious, honest, hardworking family man, who would serve Ogle County for many years, and be a tremendous asset to the Ogle County Sheriff’s Department and to the taxpayers of Ogle County. 

So please vote for Brian VanVickle on March 18.

David Brown


Get out to avoid “cabin fever”

Dear Editor,

Due to a heavy winter, cold, and snow galore, many do not get out or perhaps have “cabin fever”; however, there are countless opportunities in the area.

For instance the Mt. Morris Library has a monthly Sunday afternoon program from John Barnhart’s description with photos, rocks of all kinds and a Civil War flag re: a colony which existed near the area where he lives plus his work on the Legacy Wall at Rock River Center; fantastic.

Also World War II by Mark Herman. Lustron homes March 23, 2 p.m., etc.

There are concerts, one to be presented March 9, 3 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, Mt. Morris, in addition to the summer concerts outdoors.

We have had Health Fair, very complete and most interesting at Rock River Center in Oregon, Christmas and Valentine parties, Once a Month Birthday Parties, free computer classes for beginners with 10 new computers.

Once a month on Fridays, Dr. Nelson has a worthwhile talk where you can learn so much about daily health, it is short, comprehensive and worthwhile followed by lunch.

There is always Bingo and cards, if that whets your appetite.

Just this week ITAC by Samantha regarding and explaining free amplified phones followed by lunch and bingo, if you wish to stay.

Today a great program on Heart Health; reduce risk for cardiovascular disease, with a cooking demonstration and recipe sampling.

We had a great program bringing back many fond memories about American cowboys and Will Rogers by Andy Hogan, a historical guide from Oklahoma.

There are countless other activities; crafts, carving, quilting, etc., etc. Come on out!!

Anna Hatzipanagiotis

Mt. Morris

County board allowed budget to be higher

Dear Editor,

I find it amusing some Ogle County Board members, citizens, and the sheriff have taken issue with and blame the news media for reporting information which makes one question the lack of professional leadership and management at the Ogle County Board and sheriff’s office.

They haven’t said the information was wrong. It seems like they just don’t like us to know it.

The least we should expect is accountability for every cent of the tax money, taken in and spent by the Ogle County Board.

It’s a business and should be run as a business, not a place for a bunch of strut-abouts.

Apparently the county board doesn’t even know where all the revenue for the Tow Fund comes from or how it’s spent.

In this week’s paper (Oregon Republican Reporter, 2/27/2014), I see Chairman Gouker stated he had talked to the county’s auditor and he had found nothing wrong. Dixon’s auditors didn’t either.

As a reminder, here are some other things which have gone on in the past. 

There’s a couple of unsolved murders which we’re told are still active cases, a man died due to burns and did not, and I repeat, did not, see a doctor while in the Ogle County Jail.

There was a $50,000 payment to a contractor after the courthouse remodeling, because the Ogle County Board couldn’t write a contract to protect the taxpayers. 

I wonder if anyone has ever been held accountable for any of this.

In closing this, I’ll say the reason the sheriff could return 1.3 million dollars to the county is because the county board put too much in his budget.


Harold (Sam) W. McMichael


Dear Editor,

On March 18, I will be casting my vote for Joe Drought as Ogle County Sheriff.

If you look at the candidates on paper, Joe stands out as the obvious choice on his experience alone.

However, in addition to the vast amount of experience that Joe would bring to the job, Joe’s integrity is of the highest standard.

Joe is a man who has served his family, his country and his community for his entire life. He has given freely of himself for the benefit of others.

For example, many years ago when I had first moved to Illinois I attended a presentation that Joe gave to a group of legal secretaries promoting women’s safety.

I learned quickly that this was just the tip of the iceberg for Joe.

Joe conducts all types of training and self-defense classes regularly, often on his own personal time.

Reason being is that Joe cares deeply for the safety and well-being of others. Joe is the type of man who would not enter politics lightly or for self-promotion.

Joe put an incredible amount of thoughtful prayer and reflection into making such an important decision. Joe is running for Ogle County Sheriff because he knows that he is up for it and qualified to do the job that needs to be done which is to serve his county - Ogle County,

Please research these candidates for yourself. If you do, you too will see clearly who has the experience and integrity to serve as Ogle County Sheriff.


Susan Bunton 


Dear Editor,

I am writing in support of Joe Drought for Ogle County Sheriff.

I have known Joe since he married my lifelong friend, Donna, over 26 years ago, and know that he is a man of faith, character, and integrity.

Joe is respectful, resilient and never one to compromise his beliefs. To know Joe is to know where he stands.

I believe Joe would make an excellent Ogle County Sheriff because he is wired to be a law man.

His years in the military taught him discipline, honor and duty and solidified his belief in America and the laws that govern it.

I was once witness to Joe apprehending a fleeing suspect from the Rock Valley College campus and the image of determination and focus to catch the individual, while not endangering anyone around them, has never left me.

With his military background, police training and family commitment, Joe is the trifecta of candidates and worthy of your vote.

Please support your county and neighbors by voting for the best candidate for Ogle County Sheriff, Joe Drought.

Julie Bosma


Dear Editor,

We, the citizens of Ogle County, have the opportunity to use the ability to vote for and elect a new sheriff for Ogle County on March 18.

The man best qualified for this job is Joe Drought.

Joe has the work experience to do the best job for our county. Joe has been in numerous forms of law enforcement for 32 years.

I have known Joe and his family for seven years. I don’t think I have met a more thorough, honest man. I was on a committee with him at church.

When decisions had to be made when it came to choosing where to allocate money, choosing a person for a position, planning for presentation speakers, or the next month’s agenda, Joe was the one who made sure that we answered all the questions and discussed all the pros and cons before making a decision.

Joe Drought is a very honest, thorough, understanding, and considerate man.

The office of sheriff is a local important political position for our county.

We the voters have the opportunity to elect an official with extensive law enforcement experience, leadership skills and experience, and budget experience.

I will be voting for Joe Drought on March 18, and would ask that you choose the best man for the job. That man is Joe Drought.

Deb Schiller,


Dear Editor,

Experience, integrity, commitment to the community, these are all qualities we need in a county sheriff. Joe Drought is the only candidate that has proven himself in each of these areas.

Joe will bring 30 plus years of law enforcement experience as well as 17 years of administrative experience to the position of Ogle County Sheriff.

From military policeman/K-9 handler, to U.S. Army Staff Sergeant, to patrolman, to detective, to administrator (as the Chief of Police at Rock Valley College), Joe knows how to manage all the details of the Sheriff’s Department.

Joe’s integrity also moves him to the head of the pack.

We have known him for 30 years and are continually impresses by his strength and depth of character.

If you haven’t met him yourself, we encourage you to attend one of his met and greets around the county.

We assure you that once you look him in the eye you will know Joe Drought knows who he is.

More importantly, he isn’t afraid for others to know exactly where he stands and why he stands there.

As a resident of Ogle County for over 20 years, Joe is committed to the betterment of our county.

His leadership has fingerprinted this community in many positive ways.

Directly related to the position of Sheriff, Joe has been instrumental in training local law enforcement to make our schools safer for our children.

It is his humble nature to serve and he will continue to do so as our sheriff for many years to come.

Joe Drought will bring experienced leadership, integrity, and commitment to the community to the office of Ogle County Sheriff.

Please vote for the most qualified candidate, vote for Joe Drought.

Rodney and Cyndy Hayenga


Dear Editor

On March 18, the voters of Ogle County have important choices to make.

Each of us becomes a human resource manager, and should vote for each candidate based on proven abilities and accomplishments, just as a good human resources manager would.

As a former business owner for 28 years, I know the importance of hiring the right people for the job. 

Joe Drought is the right person for Ogle County sheriff.

Joe has the integrity and administrative experience to smoothly transition into the sheriff position.

I have known Joe for about 28 years.

He was born in Rochelle and moved with his parents to Rockford as a youngster.

After high school, he went into the Army, and has served as an MP in Germany, Korea, and several domestic locations.

After his honorable discharge, he came back to Ogle County and served as a deputy sheriff for about three years before being hired by Rock Valley College, where he has  been police chief for 17 years.

He was recently honored with the Patriotic Employer Award, given by the Department of the Army.

He was nominated for this award by one of his staff members.

He enjoys good relationships with co-workers, as well as law enforcement leaders throughout this area and will not be wasting time getting up to speed.

Outside of work, Joe has two other passions, his family and fishing.

He and his wife, a teacher in Rochelle, have been happily married for 26 years.

Both of their children were selected for the National Honor Society as high school juniors are now successful college students, both having earned Phi Theta Kappa recognition for their academic achievements.

For relaxation, Joe loves to fly fish, and can occasionally be found honing his skills in a local pond or river.

Joe Drought is the real deal.

You will not hear him promise favors in exchange for support, nor will be speak negatively about his opponents.

Let’s elect someone with administrative experience, transparency, integrity, and professionalism. Please join me in electing Joe Drought as our next sheriff.


Doyle Curtis,


Dear Editor,

Mike Rock is the most qualified candidate for Ogle County State’s Attorney.

He is interested in putting the bad guys in jail, has a stellar track record, and is worthy of your vote.

Rock, the incumbent State’s Attorney of Ogle County, replaced former State’s Attorney Ben Roe who was promoted to judge, and who also is worthy of your vote.

Mike was nominated and approved by the Ogle County Board by a vote of 24-0 last year.

He will continue to represent Ogle County well.

I’m asking that you join me in retaining Mike Rock, as Ogle County State’s Attorney on Tuesday, March 18.

Thank You.


Dick Petrizzo

Ogle County Board, District 1

Dear Editor,

I am going on record saying I support Mike Rock as our state’s attorney, and I believe he should be retained as our state’s attorney.

He has over 20 years of legal attorney experience, 10 of those as prosecuting attorney for Ogle County.

As the former Ogle County Board chairman, I went to Mike many times for guidance for some matters in regards to county business.

Mike always did his research on my question before giving me advice.

I also work as court bailiff during jury trials and have witnessed Mike as the prosecuting attorney.

He has proven to be a firm, but fair prosecuting state’s attorney, if warranted seeking the maximum sentence or fine.

Ogle County has several thousands of dollars in unpaid fines that are past due.

Mike has been working to bring more of those unpaid fines in to our treasurer, and has increased that amount from last year.

Mike has a reputation for his honesty and his integrity. He always shows professionalism in his duties.

I urge you to cast your vote for Mike Rock to continue as our Ogle County State’s Attorney.

With his experience we need Mike Rock as our state’s attorney.

Jim Barnes


Dear Editor,

It is with great pleasure that we encourage the residents of Ogle County to vote for Joe Drought for sheriff.

We have known Joe for over 25 years, ever since he married the daughter of close friends of ours.

As we have gotten to know Joe as a personal friend we have learned that he is a man of strong faith, a man who is devoted to loving and caring for his family, a man with a strong moral character, and a man of integrity with a strong work ethic.

His long experience in law enforcement, many of those years as a chief of police, have shown that he is a man of leadership, a man with a concern for his community, and a man who gives his very best to the people he serves.

Our only regret is that we live in Winnebago County and cannot vote for Joe.

That has not stopped us from campaigning for Joe, however, as we know, after talking to the good people of your county, that he is the best man for the job!

Therefore we strongly urge you, the citizens of Ogle County, to get out and vote for Joe Drought.

Elect Joe Drought and we have no doubt that you will re-elect him in four years!


Bob and Joye Bosma


Dear Editor,

In the primary election on March 18, we will have the opportunity to elect a sheriff with the experience, leadership, integrity and professionalism to run the sheriff’s department appropriately. This person is Joe Drought.

We have known Joe for many years as we are members of the First Presbyterian Church of Rochelle and have had the privilege of serving on the Witness Commission for three years with Joe as elders.

We have witnessed first hand Joe’s ability to be a leader, taking command and he is very decisive in his decision making. 

He is a very compassionate and caring Christian man and lives his life each day serving the Lord and fellow citizens.

In the last couple of years, Joe has trained many of our area police officers on how to protect our children and school staff from active shooters.

He has adapted this training to give the teachers and staff in our school districts (Rochelle, Oregon, Byron, Mt. Morris, Polo) tools with which to protect themselves and our children if this every happens in our county.

He is very dedicated to protecting the people in our communities.

The office of sheriff is a very important position in our county.

It should be run by someone who has law enforcement administration experience and proven leadership skills.

Our sheriff should be someone we can trust to make good decisions, act professionally and who will serve and protect the people of Ogle County.

For these reasons, and many more we will be supporting Joe Drought for Ogle County Sheriff.

Because Joe Drought has over 30 years of extensive experience, is a proven leader, and treats people with professionalism, he will have our support on the March 18 primary election.

We urge you to compare all 3 candidates, and you will likely reach the same decision.


Neil and Ann Andersen


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