Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hearing Is Set on Budget of $13.2 Million

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hearing Is Set on Budget of $13.2 Million

Article excerpt

The County Commission is expected to approve a 1996 budget of $13,264,096 after it holds a public hearing this week.

The figure is $1,619,395 higher than the 1995 budget and includes pay raises of 2 to 5 percent for most county employees.

But Sheriff Oliver "Glenn" Boyer is complaining that commissioners cut his allocation from general revenue so much that he will be unable to give raises to his 200 employees.

Boyer will present his case to the commission, although the budget has already been printed and no changes are expected.

The sheriff's new budget is $7,449,000, most of which is financed from a sales tax of one-half of 1 percent for law enforcement. In 1995, Boyer's budget was $8.7 million. But starting this year, the county is taking over maintenance and payments on his vehicles. This is figured at $1.1 million, the amount he got from general revenue last year.

The commission wanted to give Boyer nothing from general revenue this year, but finally allowed him to keep $326,500 he expects to get by selling 46 cars.

Boyer points out that his department creates about $783,000 in other revenue for the county, the money coming from interest, grants, permits, serving of court papers and housing of prisoners.

"We're making money for the county but losing revenue to give our employees raises," he said.

He said he has instituted new programs such the north zone substation, an anti-drug program, COPS (community-oriented policing), a traffic bureau and a domestic violence coordinator. "We can't provide such services if the county won't fund them. I strongly object to the way they are treating me. I lost four positions and have no money for raises."

The four positions are ones left vacant when people left the department last year. Now, Boyer says he has no money to replace those workers.

Boyer says his deputies, who start at $20,500, are paid lower than officers in Arnold, Festus, Crystal City and De Soto, but the deputies have more residents to serve. …

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