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Budget Woes


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  • Budget Woes

    Well our county commisioners have done it again.

    Have you ever sat back and watched a group of people and ask yourself, "could they really be that stupid?" or even say "at least they can't do anything more stupid than that"........I dont say those things anymore

    Let me set the stage......When I started in March of 08 we were operating the 4th largest county in the state with only four road deputies, there was a major (admin) and the sheriff. We worked 8 hr days with 7 and 9 day streatches and there was nobody on duty after 0200.

    after the commisioners bitched and moaned about the overtime (remember that word it will come back later when the plot thickens) the sheriff finally gets them to ok 3 more positions that will be full time hours but part time on the books, to prove that it will cause the OT to come down. We find three people who will agree to be guinea pigs for this "study" and put them to work....all them praying that it works out so that they can become permenant.

    The 12 hour shift rotation works like a dream, the OT comes WAY down, we go to 24 hr coverage, and the commissioners all but promise the citizens of our county that the positions will become full time perm at the beginning of next fiscal year.

    (here comes the plot thickening part)
    During the several months were things are going well, OT is down, crime is down, morale is good.....they come to us with a change in the pay system. They tell us that the county is going to Half Pay overtime (I think it is referred to as chinese overtime) BUT, since OT is way down now we really shouldnt be affected by it....so we all shake our heads and take what is being thrust down our throats because we know that we cant do anything about it....and maybe it wont be that bad since we dont have to put in so much overtime now thanks to the staffing levels.

    but guess what those sneaky bastards led us right into their trap!!

    word comes down that the three full time/part time positions are GONE as of JULY 1.

    Here come the days of one deputy working the county again, and OT will shoot way up, but they won't have to pay us for it!!!!!

    Oh yea....they also think that they are going to take away our take home cars


    BRAVO sneaky commissioners BRAVO......well played indeed
    If you put bacon on bacon it actually makes bacon better

  • #2
    Originally posted by ccsd157 View Post

    Have you ever sat back and watched a group of people and ask yourself, "could they really be that stupid?" or even say "at least they can't do anything more stupid than that"........I dont say those things anymore

    SURELY you cannot be asking ME that? ROFL

    As for a solution. Leak it to the media because the Sheriff isn't going to help you. Perhaps the citizens can pressure the board the change.

    I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.


    • #3
      Our sheriff is Great!

      He is by far the most aggresive and progressive sheriff that this county has ever seen! He has battled the BOC since his first day and has gotten more out of them than anyone.

      I still think the media idea has great merit
      If you put bacon on bacon it actually makes bacon better


      • #4
        Re: The O/T. Chinese or otherwise, I see some potential issues. O/T is basically regulated by Federal Wage and Hour Law(s). Government agencies are subject to these laws. Now, I don't suggest you Guys go off halk cocked with this issue. Approach it with considerable caution. At least consulting with an Attorney who practices Labor Law could you an indication of where you might stand on this issue. Based on your post, the Sheriff and Command Staff have really attempted to address the funding issues. Pooling the take home cars would be an exercise in total stupidity, but that fact has never stopped politicians in the past. In a world with poetic justice, as soon as that particular policy was implemented, one of your commissioners would have an actual emergency. Department response time would be negatively impacted by the reduction in manpower, and the pooled fleet. Problem is, this type of shortsighted crap happens every day.


        • #5
          Just to follow up on what PhilipCal said, overtime rules are established by FLSA. There is a special set of rules set for law enforcement. For example, unless your state's laws or union contract have stricter requirements, I believe that FLSA grants public safety employers the latitude not to pay OT until you have exceeded 171 work hours within a specifically defined four week period.

          In any case, when FLSA is violated you can go back and sue for as many as three years back wages with respect to overtime. There can be a 200% penalty against the employer for such violations, which may result in the employee receiving whatever they lost X 3. Such suits are traditionally filed as class action matters on behalf of all department employees who were similarly victimized by the practice. There are labor law attorneys who specialize in these cases and take them on a contingency because there is so much money to be made. One person files the suit on behalf of all victim employees.

          Now, a word of caution.

          If you win, it can cost the county big bucks. The money has to come from somewhere and right now we live in tight times. Unlike the Feds, your county does not have its own Mint with which to start printing money. That means positions will probably have to be cut to pay for whatever judgment the court gives you. Because this will essentially be a debt owned by the Sheriff's department, the county commissioners will probably tell the Sheriff that the bulk of the money must come from his budget and that he must make most of the cuts to pay for it. This could mean that more deputies may lose their jobs.

          With respect to the layoffs and cuts you are taking now, I don't know how the economy is in your state, but here in California we have the 8th largest economy in the world. Nonetheless, tax revenues are falling so short that local governments are laying off cops left and right and cutting other public services to the bone. One city even declared bankruptcy because it couldn't afford to pay to operate its local government any more. If the money isn't there, something (or someone) has to go. Before you get too upset over you layoffs and restructuring, you might check to see if the commissioners are really screwing you guys around or if maybe your county is simply running short on cash.

          In the meantime, my state government's budget shortfall is $24 billion. It has sent out layoff notices to 2,000 employees and more are expected. If you can spare a few bucks it would sure help.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


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