Woodbury Co. Sheriff's Department and Board of Supervisors battle over the budget
Woodbury County's Sheriff Dave Drew said he needs more money to keep the community safe, but the Board of Supervisors said it's hands are tied
Sheriff Drew along with Major Greg Stallman and Major Todd Wieck went before the Woodbury County supervisors to make their case for why their $9,000,000 budget is the way it is, but the county said what they've proposed is an $850,000 increase in just their operational costs.
"It was a shock because we've been informed for many, many meetings that we're limited to a certain dollar amount, and when we go above that dollar amount, you know the game's over," Woodbury County's Finance/Operations Controller Dennis Butler said.
"We shouldn't all get equal out of the pot. Public safety, if you look at most budgets, is going to eat up most of the pot," Sheriff Drew said.
But, some of the increases came as a big surprise to the supervisors like asking for thousands of dollars more in overtime.
"We're going to have to sit down and make sure we're comparing apples to apples," Woodbury County Supervisor Larry Clausen said.
Sheriff Dave Drew said he isn't the one who came up with all the numbers.
"There are some things that when you negotiate, and the sheriff doesn't negotiate, it's the board of supervisors and the union, and I'm held with what they come out with together," Drew said.
But, supervisor George Boykin said it will be up to the sheriff to find places to cut back because they can't go over their budget.
"We're saying that he's going to have to be more fiscally prudent to widdle down some of those things that we can make our budget," Boykin said
"I'm disappointed because of the mere fact of what we're trying to do is be more clear in what we do by showing in every budgeted item where our dollars are going," Sheriff Drew said.
And, James Van Bruggen with the Taxpayers Research Council said he's looking in to what the sheriff has proposed, but sees some good points.
"The sheriff is trying to be more transparent than previous administrations. He's showing us all his federal revenue. He's showing us all the expenditures," Van Bruggen said.
The only budgeted item actually changed at Tuesday's meeting was cutting back $8,000 for overtime hours for one division. The board asked the sheriff's department to come back at a later date to discuss the issues further.
The sheriff said he won't back down when it comes to changing the budget, but the board said something must be done.
We'll continue to update you as the debate continues.
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