Monday, January 3, 2011

Commissioners need your input

Commissioners need your input

We, the Board of Darke County Commissioners are facing a serious dilemma. 
Back on December 20, 2010, in our Regular Agenda Session, Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathan P. Hein, attended our meeting and spoke to Commissioners Haworth, Delaplane & Rhoades, regarding his 2011 Appropriations that he submitted early in December, 2010, and he is also speaking for the other Elected Officials that also feel the increase was unfair to them.   
 He stated that his “Appropriations” that were submitted in early December, was flat-lined per the recommendation of the Darke County Commission Board.  He is resubmitting his appropriations to us due to an increase in the Darke County Sheriff’s Budget that we felt was a necessity for our county, most importunately the Citizens of our County. Now today, January 3, 2011, we the Board of Commissioners, consisting of Vice Chairman Diane Delaplane, Member Michael W. Rhoades & Michael E. Stegall, met with Common Pleas Judge Jonathan P. Hein, regarding his request for an additional $57,000.00 to his Appropriations, which includes the hiring of a new Probation Officer, and increasing his employees salaries 2% percent. 
Now, we the Board of Darke County Commissioners want to make this Statement regarding the circumstances etc. behind our decision for the increases to 2011 Sheriff’s Appropriations.
Back in February, 2010, we the Board of Commissioners, were approached by several Police Departments in the county, that the drug situation in Darke County is out of control.  At that time, we discovered that the “Workers Comp” line in all of the Elected Officials Budget etc. was figured higher than what they actually was going to be.  At that time, there was an extra $80,000. that could be moved and used by the Darke County Sheriff, to help support the hiring of the much needed Officers.  Also at that same time, shortly after that decision was made, we found out from the Department of Taxation, for the State of Ohio, that someone had paid double what they were supposed to be paying for “sales tax”.  Consequently, we are losing, from sales tax over approx. $20,000. a month for the next year and beyond.  Also, stated in the meeting by the Judge, was he thought it was more important to have road deputies than drug officers.  It was also brought to our attention that if we give the Sheriff this increase, than the Public Defender wants an increase in their contract line. 
We, the Board of Commissioners, back in February, 2010, made the decision to allow the Sheriff to put on two (2) Officers.  At that time, and at this time we still feel that was the right thing to do.  But do to the possibilities of an “Order” coming down, from the Judge, and the increases wanted by the Public Defender, we cannot afford all of this.
We have had discussions with the Sheriff and he has acknowledged he’ll do whatever we request him to do, he will do.  The Sheriff will make the final decisions as to what will take place, if we reduce his funds. 
If anyone has any issues or concerns, or even suggestions, feel free to call any of your “Elected Officials” in the County as to what you feel needs to be done.

Editor's Note: Your county public officials can be contacted at this site:


Observer said...

If the direction given was "no increase", then the reallocation of the $80,000 of "found money" to increase staffing is inconsistent.

Only if the Sheriff's department took a staffing cut when the others did not would the action taken make sense. Otherwise the action taken was an opportunistic and bureaucratic approach of fiscal management.

There needs to be fairness for all employees of the county.

I think for the commissioners to put this out to the public is an attempt to make a political topic that they have been tasked with performing; make a decision and move forward.

Innocent Bystander said...

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."

Nomad said...

If Hein would send criminals to jail where they should be sent he wouldn't need another PO officer.
Hopefully someone will run against him in the next election, we need someone that will put some teeth into sentencing in this county.

voter said...

Nomad: See you in six years.

Citizen said...

I admire the transparency in this statement of the situation. It is a fact that drug enforcement takes manpower and money. It may be time to put together a more cohesive plan for county employees and their pay rates. The patchwork of rates for the same positions in different departments have certainly led to this mess. I support new ideas and the commissioners willingness to listen.

County Resident said...

Who is running the County Commissioner's office, the Judge or the County Commissioners? If you feel you made the correct decision in 2/10 by hiring two officers, then stick with that decision. I don't see where hiring a new probation officer & increasing employees salaries 2% is more important than hiring two new deputies.

Charlie James said...

Appears to me, the Darke County staff (yes, all of them) are continuing to operate from a foundation of individual decisions, with little regard to impact on the county staffing and functions in aggregate.
In industry, we called these decisions "one offs", meaning decisions made for good intentions, but with little analysis of impact on overall business.

so .......
I suggest the county folks work from the top,
FIRST, identifying all required (by law a some level) functions, all needed functions (in the county) and all desired functions.
THEN, identify staffing requirements for each level (can likely eliminate the desired level).
THEN identify monies required for the staffing levels.
THEN identify monies available for all functions staffing.
THEN staff from the top of the priority list down, until monies run out.
THE, we are done.

IF anyone perceives there are important functions left unstaffed, monies must be added in to the county budget (read this as increase in county revenues from some source).

Folks, this is not rocket science.
It is difficult, requiring often unpopular choices, often with perceptions of inadequacy.
BUT, it is the right way to run the railroad, or in this case, Darke County.

Scott E said...

This is difficult and unpopular but has to be done. Most of the departments the County operates are very important to us. Funding from the top down makes a lot of sense. When the money runs out, so does the jobs/programs. Not much chance of increasing taxes in this economy.

county resident said...

It seems to me if you are going to arrest more drug offenders you are giong to need to use the courts more. Thus more money needed.