DeWitt County Board Chair Sherrie Brown is under more fire today from a local law enforcement official over an under the table move to cut the budgets of departments across the county.
DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner explains it is budget time across the County, and in an effort to be fiscally responsible, his department cut their budget by $41-thousand dollars. However, Board Chair Brown is calling on each department to cut their budgets by 5%. The Sheriff says this would decrease their budget by an additional $100-thousand.
According to Sheriff Shofner, he would have to make some decisions that would ultimately devastate the County. He explains his decision would come down to having officers patrolling the County or removing staffing in the jail.
The Sheriff does not seemed surprised by the actions of the Board Chair. He says last year the way Brown handled the passage of the budget was politically motivated. The budget saw approximately a million dollars worth of changes at the last minute.
There is a motion on the agenda for the Thursday board meeting to have a special meeting where the Board would work with Dee Dee Rentmeister on how budgeting works at the County level and how it effects the departments across the County. The Sheriff calls that motion "a great idea".
Also on the agenda for Thursday night is a vote of no confidence in County Chair Brown. The Sheriff encourages a vote of no confidence in the Chairwoman. He believes the Chairwomam gets a $5-thousand salary for "not doing her job at this point".
He calls the not only the cuts, but the way it was proposed "reckless" and feels it is likely a violation of the open meetings act in the way it was passed.
The Sheriff acts as the 9-1-1 Board chair and he explains the proposed reductions in budget would cause the layoffs of several CENCOM employees, which would mean fewer operators on hand overall. He says that would mean longer delays in emergency responders getting to the scene of an emergency.
He feels the big losers of all the cuts are the residents of DeWitt County.