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County revisits budget priorities
"On Monday, Kitsap County commissioners decided to do some financial housecleaning.The commissioners began moving money around to cover some new positions that have arisen since the 2000 budget was approved late last year.Administrative Department Director William Nogle blamed the alleged bad deeds of some local bad actors for a lot of the needed funds.The Superior Court (needs money) because of the number of homicides and homicide trials, he said.In addition, Nogle said the county is creating seven new positions that will be filled almost immediately. Four of these will be new deputy sheriff positions that will be paid for with I-695 monies. The state has appropriated, Nogle told the commissioners.Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer said he was pleased with the proposed new hirings, which he called a beginning.Kitsap County had one of the poorest ratios of deputies to citizens in the state last year.The four deputies will help, but Boyer said he still needs more deputies.A total of 12 was mentioned in a passing conversation, but only the four are on the mid-year budget.An internal auditor position, a labor relations position and a legal assistant on the civil side of the prosecutor's office were also added.Nogle said the ending fund balance is available to pay for many of the changes.Another proposed increase is the money allocated for the guardian ad litem services due to an increase in the hourly rate; $175,000 to complete revisions to the county's building permit system and an increased appropriation to close out the Upper Hood Canal Watershed project.The total expenditure passed unanimously by the only two commissioners present - Charlotte Garrido and Chris Endresen - came to $1,254,109."