Cyndy Sperry: Gittelson has the diverse skills needed for sheriff

Published: 02/09/2022 19:52:19

Modified: 02/09/2022 19:49:41

If Sheriff Patrick Cahillane is the best person for the job, why is he being challenged by two (and not just one) very impressive candidates who worked for years at the Hampshire County House of Corrections? Why would a sheriff with leadership abilities find himself in this position?

From my perspective as an audience member at last week’s League of Women Voters forum, Cahillane has lost what could have been her dream team – two highly skilled and energetic people, one registered nurse, the other, the education coordinator – both articulating innovative ideas, programming plans and a true commitment to the mission of rehabilitation and reintegration into the community of people in custody.

A good leader would recognize the contributions and merit of a Caitlin Sepeda and a Yvonne Gittelson and give them the space and time to run with their work. Instead, these former employees question his work (while pursuing their other full-time jobs). Wouldn’t strong leadership see the value in retaining employees with their abilities and vision?

It’s time for a new model. One that reflects the spirit and commitment to Hampshire County justice. As an artist/educator, my vote will go to Yvonne Gittelson. She has a proven management and leadership background with a diverse experiential skill set, and has additionally offered to bring Caitlin Sepeda onto her team should she win this race.

Cyndy Spery


Valerie J. Wallis