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 May 1st, 2008  
Sheriff Mascara submits proposed budget to County Commission
 
Here is the text of St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara's budget submittal letter to the Board of County Commissioners:

May 1. 2008

Chairman Joseph Smith
St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners 2300 Virginia Avenue
Fort Pierce, FL 34982

Dear Chairman Smith:

Enclosed you will find my budget for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.

Every member of the Sheriffs Office understands the financial difficulties we face. We have converted that realization into savings in every facet of the agency’s operations. This commitment to savings makes it possible to request only a 1.05 percent budget increase for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.

The budget I am submitting recognizes my responsibility to maintain a level of public-safety services that the members of our community demand and deserve. Consequently, this budget provides School Resource Deputies throughout our school system at the same level as the current fiscal year. This is necessary if we are to fulfill our commitment to nurturing and protecting our most precious resource. our children.

I will not allow the School Resource Deputy program to be compromised. It is too important to our children, the parents who entrust their children’s safety to us and the dedicated teachers, administrators and volunteers who work in our schools.

The proposed budget reflects St. Lucie County School District Superintendent Michael Lannon’s commitment to fund the School Resource Deputy program at the same level as this year.

As you review the budget, you will notice items of cost savings in some areas and unavoidable increases in others. The increases are associated with unpredictable fuel costs. inmate medical and food costs and mandated increases in health, life and liability insurance.

The proposed budget does not include a salary increase for my employees. I respectfully request that any end-of-year savings from the current fiscal year be distributed among all full-time bargaining unit members, sergeants and lieutenants, based on a percentage of their salary during the 2008-09 fiscal year in a one-time transaction.

The proposed budget reflects salary savings within the judicial and law enforcement operations of approximately two hundred thousand ($200,000) and four hundred forty thousand ($440.000). respectively. These salary savings are from early buyouts of long-tenured employees and from the freezing of positions during the current fiscal year.

These savings do not reflect a future reduction in personnel.

As we are all aware. the cost of fuel continues to be volatile and unpredictable. Even a slight increase in fuel costs negatively affects our entire operation. This budget reflects increases in fuel/lubricants and aviation operations of approximately one hundred eighty thousand dollars ($180,000) and one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000). respectively. If fuel costs rise above four dollars (S4.00) a gallon during fiscal year 2008-09, I will be forced to ask for your assistance to address financial shortfalls.

On a positive note. our partnership with the Fort Pierce Utilities Authority to conserve water at the Rock Road jail will result in a two hundred thousand dollar (S200.000) savings in the coming fiscal year.

Contractual agreements for inmate medical care and food service will require increases of approximately two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000) and seventy- five thousand dollars ($75, 000), respectively.

Finally. this budget does not include capital expenditures or contingency funds.

As always, my staff and I are available to address any of your questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Ken J. Mascara,
Sheriff of St. Lucie County

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