Letter to the Editor

Robert Ballay: Resident asks for sheriff to receive more general revenue funds

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Dear Editor:

On Aug. 7, Lawrence County citizens will vote on candidates for presiding county commissioner. In advance of this vote, those candidates owe the taxpayers an unequivocal statement of intention, with regard to the law enforcement budget going forward.

Last year, Lawrence County faced a budget shortfall due to the ballooning jail population, prompting the county commissioners to propose a law enforcement tax. The clearly stated objective of this tax was to address the jail situation and put more deputies on the road. In every discussion that I read, the commissioners inferred that this new tax would generate additional monies that would supplement the inadequate general revenue funds.

Multiple reports reveal that after the tax levy passed, the sheriff was no longer provided his historical share of the general revenue, leaving $814,974 in the general fund that could arguably have still gone to law enforcement. In other words, the county commission gave with one hand and took away with the other hand.

A simple yes/no question for the candidates is, will you support giving the sheriff his historical percentage of the general revenue fund, plus the the law enforcement tax proceeds, as was advertised when the new tax was proposed?

Smoke and mirrors are expected in Las Vegas, but unacceptable to Lawrence County taxpayers.

Robert Ballay