To the Editor:

My wife Leah and I are the owners of East Coast Wings + Grill. We opened our store May 7, 2018. As with many new restaurants, there was a flood of people that came to the store in the first couple of months. With limited parking, this created quite a situation for neighboring property owners with lots of guests parking along the roads where space was available. Needless to say complaints poured in and the Bedford County Sheriff's Office did their duty and responded – which resulted in towing several vehicles from no parking areas.

This created quite a conflict with us and the guests. Social media took over and the Bedford County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) was quickly becoming the “bad guy” in this situation. Captain Miller called me one day to set up a meeting to discuss the situation. He came to the store and we had a great meeting. He facilitated a series of meetings between me, the landlord, VDOT, and BCSO at one of the BCSO offices.

His talent as a mediator and facilitator was evident from the start. A win-win-win was his goal. We all met 5-6 times over the course of a couple of months to discuss various solutions – although not many existed. However, throughout this process, I developed a tremendous respect and friendship with Mike and his ability to take a volatile situation and cool it down.

Sure, there was not a home run solution, but all the meetings were very cordial and we all left with a greater respect for each other and the element of conflict was dissolved.

Mike is someone that I know and trust to always do the right thing. He maintains an almost perfect balance between duty and relationships – a critical skill set for a leader in law enforcement. I have called him on several occasions with various issues regarding the store – he always answers and if he doesn’t know the answer, he tells me so then gets back to me when he does.

This is character and integrity in its purest form. I have the utmost respect for him and strongly support his campaign for Sheriff of Bedford County. We are residents of Bedford County and have a business in Bedford County. There is no one I would trust more to keep us safe and at peace with neighbors.

Mike and Leah Morrell

Owners, East Coast Wings + Grill

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