Monday, 17 June 2024

De Bonis: Alternatives to seeking a sales tax measure for sheriff’s staffing

There have been newspaper articles and much discussion at the Northshore town hall council meetings recently about approving some sort of tax to fund the Lake County Sheriff’s Department.

I am wondering why no one is asking where the money is that Lake County is saving every month by not paying the 56 deputies that the sheriff’s department is short.

I estimate there is somewhere between $300,000 and $400,000 that is not being spent each month on deputy salaries and benefits.

Where is this money? Why can’t the county use these funds to help pay the high health care costs that are supposedly keeping candidates away from our county? Why can’t these funds be used to raise wages and hire 25 new recruits instead of the full staff of 56?

I believe the money is already available to make some changes and I am not willing to ask a population already struggling financially to pay additional taxes when there are unanswered questions about the funds that are budgeted and not being spent for a full staff of deputies.

Instead of looking at ways to reach into the pockets of residents, how about requiring our county officials to find ways to solve the sheriff’s department problem with the funds they have available and are not using?

Finally, if our surrounding counties are able to supply affordable health care for their sheriff’s deputies, why is it so difficult for Lake County to shop and secure affordable health care coverage?

Dan De Bonis lives in Lucerne, Calif.

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