BOCC Directed Budget Reductions
Mason County Board of County Commissioners levies cuts that greatly diminish our ability to provide public safety to Mason County residents.
The cost of law enforcement in the 21st century is high and continues to increase year-after-year. Training mandates, liability, and attacks on law enforcement continue to increase. The sheriff is required to manage the budget which is allotted to his department by the Mason County BOCC. As a result of poor fiscal forecasting and budgeting by the BOCC, the citizens will now have to bear the results of Draconian budget cuts.
Budget instructions for the second half of 2017 require the MCSO to cut our budget by 8.5%, which is $898,384. The cut translates to a loss of 9 patrol deputies, 5 jail deputies, and 3 support staff in the S.O. This translates to 8 current deputy positions, and a total of 9 open/unfilled positions.
January 2017 MCSO Budget: $12,320,697
Required 8.5% Reduction: -$898,384
New 2017 Budget (July 2017): $11,422,313
Draft budget instructions for 2018/2019 reduces the budget for the MCSO by an additional 17.5%, which equates to $1,998,904 and brings our budget back to 2009 levels. Because of these cuts, the MCSO may be forced to lay off up to 20 additional deputies.
New 2017 Budget: $11,422,313
Required 17.5% Reduction: -$1,998,904
Budget for 2018: $9,423,409
The result: the BOCC has directed the MCSO to cut $2,897,288 between the 2017 and 2018 budget years.
Furthermore, the BOCC has directed that “general, wage, and…COLA increase[s]…shall be absorbed by all departments and offices and there will be no 2018 budget supplemental requests honored.” The contractual increases for the MCSO in 2018 are anticipated to be in excess of $400,000. In other words, the effective cuts to the MCSO budget for just 2018 will be over $2,398,904. Arguably the most important point about employee contract wages is that they are negotiated by the BOCC, not the Sheriff.