DEAR EDITOR:

As a former coroner I would like a moment of your time.

You will be electing a new coroner for your county for the first time in decades. It is important to each and every one to stop and think seriously about the ramifications of electing anyone not qualified to hold this office. Wanting to be a coroner and one’s capacity to do so are two very different things.

May none of you need the services of a coroner, but if you do it is imperative that your coroner have medical knowledge and a forensic skillset. Coroners determine cause and manner of death. If you do not know what you are looking at, or for, poor information is transmitted to our Sheriffs’ Office, GBI, and the Medical Examiner.

Example: a decedent is ruled a natural death when in reality it is not a natural death; the family will not receive the proper life insurance amounts they are entitled to receive. This can happen with an unskilled unknowledgeable coroner. (FYI: the state does not teach the pathophysiology of death.)

Cherokee County has had someone with medical knowledge in the coroner’s office for over 40 years, let’s keep it that way.

This is not a position to elect someone simply because they are a nice person. The position of coroner requires years of education and medical training. For the benefit of all Cherokee County families, please research the candidates and elect the most qualified person to be the next county coroner. You will be very grateful if, heaven forbid, your loved ones need the services of the Cherokee County Coroner.

Mary Beth Pais

Alexander City, Alabama

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