By Wayne Allen
In a letter addressed to the Scioto County Commissioners, Scioto County Sheriff Marty Donini said that if his office did not receive additional appropriations by Aug. 26 he would have to layoff employees and close a portion of the jail. On Tuesday morning (Aug. 26), Donini met with the commissioners and was assured he would receive the funding.
In his letter dated Aug. 20, Donini wrote that it was the third time he had reached out to the commissioners asking for additional appropriations to avoid the situation. Donini wrote the need for additional appropriations came as a result of the commissioners approving a final wage proposal from employees of the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office on March 13, 2014.
In his letter to the commissioners, Donini agreed to absorb part of the cost. Donini said his agreeing to absorb the cost was based on the assumption of receiving additional appropriations from the commissioners of $119,526.75 to his office.
“I have no intentions of re-negotiating the terms of this proposal due to the lack of understanding on your part. I have invested a considerable amount of time and effort in resolving the negotiation process with the employees. I am once again for a third and final time, respectfully requesting that the Board of Scioto County Commissioners authorize and issue additional appropriations,” Donini wrote. “Please be advised that I have been monitoring my budget very closely and in the event the Board refuses to appropriate the $119,526.75 on or before Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 4 p.m. I will begin taking immediate action to reduce my general fund salary expenditures to compensate for the $119,526.75 which will ultimately result in layoffs and undoubtedly closing a portion of the jail.”
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Times, Mike Crabtree, chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners, said they will find the money to give the sheriff’s office to avoid layoffs and closing a portion of the jail. Crabtree said in developing the budget for 2014 they had included funding for a three percent raise, and while examining the sheriff’s budget it was realized $50,000 had been removed. That money has since been put back in, Crabtree said.
“He will get his $119,526,75, but we had short changed him and that was an oversight on our part,” Crabtree said.
After the meeting on Tuesday, Donini said, “I’m very pleased because they (commissioners) were reasonable and they came to see it from my point of view. They have agreed to appropriate the entire amount.” He said this action avoids the possibility of layoffs and shutting down a portion of the jail.
In preparing the budget for 2014, Crabtree said the commissioners were aware there may need to be additional appropriations.
“We were aware there would be some shortfalls here that there. We always get a conservative certified budget early in the year. There are things that have come up this year where we’ve had to transfer a little bit of money around on,” Crabtree said.
He said the board of elections was also in need of additional appropriations, and the commissioners were able to find the money necessary to cover a portion of their request. There is also an issue in one of the judges chambers with the HVAC system, Crabtree said, that will need to be fixed, that was not anticipated.
“What we do is take money from line items that are relatively idle, and we have other means of making that up,” he said.
He gave the example that they still have money available from the sale of county property in West Portsmouth last year.
“It’s like going on vacation and running over a piece of metal and all of the sudden you have to buy a tire for $150 that you did not expect. That’s just the way life is,” Crabtree said.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.