Vail Daily letter: Bettis for coroner

The Eagle County Coroner election has been turned into a single-issue campaign. This position is important and must have the right person for the job — it is critical to the proper functioning of this office. Eagle County voters have been inundated with this smoke screen, which I find to be a narrow view; the job of coroner, or deputy coroner, comprises so much more. Having a medical background is great, especially when you are speaking with the pathologist who performs our county’s autopsies. Having investigative skills and the ability to write the facts in a way that the average citizen can understand what an entire scene tells of the decedent’s life prior to death is critical. The coroner, and deputy coroners, are the investigative observers on the scene who need to be able to relay every piece of relevant information to the pathologist so a comprehensive evaluation can be completed later, at autopsy. The Coroner’s Office is responsible for multiple facets of a death investigation. Please go to the Eagle County government website and look at the job description.

In addition to our law enforcement counterparts, Eagle County has a wonderful staff of victim’s advocates who, without hesitation, voluntarily respond to any situation where the family of a victim of violence needs support and provides the information needed to begin their next steps in handling the “what now” questions. This allows the Coroner’s Office to do its investigative responsibilities while giving the family the support they need.

Our coroner has the depth of education and experience to handle what has, and what potentially can, come along. The worst-case scenario is not a trial-and-error learning situation. I want the person who can anticipate and knows what to do next because they have been there with boots-on-the-ground, not just from having their nose in a book. The latest emergency drills held in Eagle County are priceless learning experiences that cannot be equaled in any classroom, and only one candidate has this kind of experience.

This is why I am voting for Kara Bettis as Eagle County’s coroner.

Shannon Bunnell

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