Alachua County Sheriff Asks County Commission For More Money
After commissioning a study that found that Alachua County sheriff's deputies are underpaid compared to other agencies and three previous sessions with the county commission, Sheriff Sadie Darnell asked for more money. At times, the meeting was tense.
"It's only our job to decide what fraction of the total pot of money the sheriff will get this year versus the other needs that we have in the county," said Alachua County Commissioner Mike Byerly. "After that, it's up to you."
"I'm unable to fund this compensation study in my budget," said Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell. "That is the reason why I have brought this issue before the board several times. It's the only option I have."
30 percent of law enforcement services are paid for by the county general fund and the other 70 percent comes from the law enforcement MSTU. Darnell says if that ratio is changed from 30/70 to 35/65, she'll be able to give her deputies raises.
Sheriff's office officials also said that funding for the warrants distribution program should be paid for out of the general fund rather than splitting it with the law enforcement MSTU. Commissioner Lee Pinkoson says they may be right about that, and it could help the negotiations process.
"It would make it a little less complicated, but 3 of us have to agree that we want to shift the allocation," said Pinkoson.
Several commissioners said they don't expect this issue to be resolved in the immediate future, but it will have to be decided when the new fiscal year starts October 1st.
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