By Joe Lewis - Staff Writer
Jan. 2, 2013 —
Carter Fiscal Court met in special session Friday to give final approval to the 2013 Sheriff’s Department budget, barely meeting the state deadline.
Sheriff Casey Brammell asked for an additional $37,500 from the Court in wage increases for his deputies, which he says are among the lowest paid in the state.
“It’s difficult to keep deputies when they can go to Olive Hill as officers and get family medical coverage or go somewhere else and get a higher wage,” Brammell said.
According to Brammell, one of the department’s major struggles is paying the cost for state academy training up front only to see deputies leave for better paying jobs.
As part of their training, deputies typically sign a three-year contract that levies a financial penalty for early termination but Brammell says that competing agencies often agree to pay that penalty on behalf of the leaving deputy rather than absorb the cost of sending one of their own hires through the academy.
Judge-Executive Charles Wallace repeatedly commented that the Court would do everything it could to work with the sheriff toward providing these increases.
The Court then spent more than an hour attempting to brainstorm ways to adjust the sheriff’s budget to achieve the raises.
“I don’t blame you for fighting for your people,” said Magistrate Clifford Roe.
Ultimately, rather than asking the sheriff to change his budget, the Court agreed to accept the budget as presented, a total of $1,007,000.
The Fiscal Court will provide $298,500 of that amount or about 29.6 percent of the sheriff’s total budget.
The county budget will have to be amended to provide for the increase.
The next regular meeting of Carter Fiscal Court is set for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15, in Room 221 of the courthouse.
Joe Lewis can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 286-4201.