Letters to the Editor

Law enforcement gets short shrift

I sent this letter below as an e-mail to all three county commissioners on Nov. 25. As of today, Dec. 6, I have received zero responses from any of the commissioners.

I did a quick Web search and did come up with the 2009 salary for the commissioners, and they earn $107,756 or $109,856 depending on which district they represent.

That is over $50 an hour for their service.

Maybe someone could research the increase in commissioner salaries over the last 10 years — just of of curiosity, of course.

Just looking for our return on our taxpayer investment.

Commissioners:

I looked over your latest budget and have a few questions and comments.

Picking just a few related areas to limit the number of questions, I have curiosity about the Sheriff’s Office and Corrections Office.

I noticed that quite a bit of effort and manipulation went into minimizing the effect of budget cuts on the Sheriff’s Office and its deputies — specifically, redeploying more than a dozen deputies versus cutting deputy personnel.

Good job by the sheriff in retaining his deputies, by the way.

The flip side is the elimination of nine positions in the Corrections Department. Not a redistribution, not a redeployment, but outright removal of personnel.

If we keep all the deputies, who will be watching the jail? When will the hammer fall and part of the jail closed due to a lack of trained manpower?

Did we not spend millions of taxpayers dollars in building new facilities and upgrading the old facilities?

Sounds like we will end up with empty buildings costing the taxpayers money to keep up.

Did you borrow this concept from the Port of Bremerton?

Oh, that’s right, the Kitsap County Prosecutor can’t afford to keep the lawyers needed to keep people in jail anyway.

Good plan for the departments to compliment and coordinate their own reductions.

I can’t wait for the first lawsuits to hit the county due to taxpayers getting victimized by those who need to be in jail but are not because we either cannot afford to prosecute or jail them.

I read that money is being taken from the Road Fund, Veterans Funds, and the Corrections Office to fund the deputies. (As a disabled vet myself, I have a long memory regarding the treatment of my fellow veterans at election time).

Will that money be restored to those funds it was removed or diverted from?

So my big questions is, how much of a pay raise are the Kitsap County commissioners being given in 2010 and how much of a future pay raise have you voted for yourselves?

Just curious. I want to get a better feel for what your priorities are in the next year or two.

ROGER GAY

South Kitsap

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