My name is Stephanie Eller and I am a candidate for Lee County Sheriff. After 15 years with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, I had to leave due to State of Florida resign to run laws. I was a Records Clerk, Patrol Deputy, District Detective, Youth Services Detective, School Resource Officer Sergeant, Public Information Officer, and Patrol Sergeant. I have an MS Management from Hodges University and have successfully managed a two-family business, a Christian retreat center, and have had the discipline to become debt-free.
I am running for sheriff because I believe the sheriff has lost focus of the core competency of law enforcement: “To protect and serve.” I witnessed excessive spending and hiring of high-ranking personnel, while those who work the hardest on the front lines, protecting and serving 24/7 on Patrol, in Dispatch, and in our Corrections facilities, were neglected. Citizens were also neglected as budgets and administration grew, yet no additional resources were put into protecting and serving the citizens.
I have a 5-point plan to get back on track:
- Cut the fat at the top. Reduce bloated bureaucracy and eliminate the three (3) recently created administrative positions.
- Boots on the ground. “Immediately reviewing Every Position in the Sheriff’s Office Top to Bottom to Address the Bloated Bureaucracy and ensuring the Every Tax Dollar Entrusted to the Sheriff is spent with You, the Taxpayer in mind.” (Mike Scott Campaign Flyer, 2004).
- Target high-crime areas – 24/7 presence in high-crime communities. Negotiations on county-owned homes/buildings to establish substations.
- Fiscally responsible spending. Eliminate duplicate and nonessential positions and re-establish some part-time positions. No hiring of personnel for fundraising and luncheons. Review purchasing practices on costly outsourcing such as the medical and food contracts at the jail.
- Reduce employee turnover. Establish wage structure competitive with surrounding law enforcement agencies with step plan for promotions. Conduct a forensic audit to determine where expenses can be cut. Utilize cuts to boost the standard of living for all employees.
I saw too much waste, complacency and disregard for serving and protecting the citizens. I knew change was needed. I have the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for that change to happen. I want to reverse the violent crime trend, make our community safer, and put Fort Myers and Lee County back in the news for all of the right reasons.