Sheriff, board agree on cuts to ‘15 budget 8/8/2014

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 15, 2014

Sheriff, board agree on cuts to ‘15 budget

By Rupert Howell

County supervisors reached an agreement with Sheriff Dennis Darby and his staff with cuts to that department during an intense meeting Wednesday morning in Batesville.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Supervisors sought a $120,000 cut from the sheriff’s department with $60,000 each coming from the Sheriff’s operation and operation of the jail.

With Chief Deputy Chris Franklin, Jail Administrator Bobby Meeks and SO Executive Assistant Robbie Haley at Darby’s side, the group went line by line through the proposed budget.

Darby told supervisors, “We’ve cut for three years,” and explained that he only had two previous sheriff’s budgets to compare to. Darby and staff then showed where $82,000 could be cut during the line by line discussion.

Meek assured supervisors, “I’m going to milk it as long as I can,” talking of commercial type appliances used in the operation of the jail including washers, dryers and dishwashers.

Meek also warned of aging air-conditioning units at the facility.

“Stuff we can fix ourselves, we fix ourselves. I don’t know what I would do without Ben Chambers. He can fix anything.”

Meek also told supervisors, “I have good employees (at the jail) but they are hard to keep,” obviously referring to salaries.

“I can get employees, but good ones are hard to keep,” Meek said.

John Thomas who has repeated that he will vote against raising taxes said, “We’ve asked them (Sheriff’s Department) to cut and they cut.”

“I appreciate what y’all have done to help us,” Supervisor Kelly Morris told the group.