A mid-year review of the county budget has once again put the Edwards County Board of Commissioners at odds with the county sheriff.
The county board stated that, according to the current trends within his budget, Edwards County Sheriff Darby Boewe is on pace to exceed his budget for Fiscal Year 2019 by $24,000. Earlier this year, the board settled a dispute with the sheriff which saw them attempt to shift control of the county’s dispatching services from Boewe to the Edwards County 911 Board.
One member of the board was so frustrated with the more recent situation that he suggested reducing the sheriff’s staff for the remainder of the fiscal year.
“I know where I’m at on it,” said Duane Lear, Chairman of the Board. “I’m at the point where you’ve got three deputies, and that’s all you’ve got for the rest of the year, period.”
Fellow commissioner Davis Messman acknowledged that Boewe would ultimately need to make that decision, based on the money allotted him by the board.
“I mean, he’s going to have to make decisions based off of his budget,” said Messman.
Messman further expressed his belief that the sheriff would reach further beyond the budget approved for him by the board.
“My recollection is that he thought he could do better this year,” he said. ”Now, if it comes in at $24,000 over, you can say it came in better than last year.
“But I don’t have confidence that’s where it’s going to wind up at.”
Boewe was out of the county at the time of the meeting, and was not immediately available to address the board’s concerns, one of which was a claim that the department is overstaffed.
“The problem I have is he’s on duty during the day, (Deputy) Debbie (Judge) is on duty during the day and then we have another deputy on duty during the day,” Lear explained. “That was never, ever approved to operate that way.
“I mean, (they) used to run the whole department with three. We gave him a fourth person, and now he has two more.”
According to the sheriff’s department, it has responded to 19 percent more calls than at this point in the previous year.
The board also questioned the amount of overtime used by the department, noting that Boewe had far exceeded the amount of overtime approved by the commissioners.
“There was more (overtime) budgeted,” explained Mary Beth Smith, Edwards County Clerk, during the discussion. “You marked it out when you did the budget.
“You guys marked the overtime off.”
In his drafted budget, Boewe requested $18,437.20 in funds slated for overtime costs. The county board allotted him $1,000.
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