Maryville Daily Times:

Increasing the property tax rate 1-2 cents a year to account for growth — and to pay for things like pay raises for deputies — would go a long way to alleviating funding problems, Cunningham said.

Actually once again I have to agree with Mayor Cunningham on principle (alert the media!), but not necessarily on execution.

How much did that BCSO SWATmobile cost? And didn't they build a fancy new racetrack or something? And a shooting range or something? Is all that really necessary? And what about all these federal prisoners, and wanting to spend money to take in more of them? Shouldn't we be looking out for Blount Co. citizens and getting local criminals off the street instead of babysitting somebody else's problems?

Anyway, yes, Blount Co. Sheriff's Deputies should be paid more and their pay should be in line with other law enforcement agencies in the area.

P.S. Shouldn't growth sort of take care of itself by way of an expanding property tax base? Or is this an admission that property taxes don't cover the cost of infrastructure and local government services for new development?

Topics:

How quickly we forget, Mayor

There are a group of people who remember what the Mayor has said within the last six months regarding tax increases:

Through his presentation, Cunningham discussed tourism, economic development, open government, the county's growth and finances.

Cunningham told those in attendance that he and Finance Director Dave Bennett had been working hard on the budget, and it looks as though there won't be a need for a property tax increase this year.

"I remember when President George H.W. Bush said, 'Read my lips, no new taxes," and I remember where that got him -- so I'm not ready to say that, but it doesn't look like we'll need to raise taxes."

(link...)

I know that you can't believe what is unbelievable as uttered by a politician like the Mayor, but just for interest juxtapose his comments with Mr. Neal's well considered remarks. Obviously, more money from tax revenue should go to the men and women in the trenches working for less than adequate pay as opposed to additional equipment and money for the Sheriff and/or other government agencies who want more money.

(link...)

How quickly we forget, Mayor, who primarily benefit from the efforts of the uniformed deputies in the line of duty-your alleged constituents. Does BC need any more government sponsored swatmobiles, shooting ranges, racetracks-and federal prisoners? Do these type of expenditures help where the Mayor has previously emphasized the needs of the county: "tourism, economic development, open government, the county's growth and finances?"

The evidence seems to indicate that more tax dollars will not be allocated properly.

TFM

Thomas F. Mabry
P. O. Box 52385
Knoxville, TN 37950

Fax 1-888-215-3119
Phone 1-865-671-0598

um...

Don't you think the sheriff should have ask for raises in the budget? His appeal was all about new SROs, not mo'money for the deputies.

The budget committee approved $1,000 bonuses for members of BCSO. You did not see that reported any place did you?

Of course our deputies deserve a decent wage. No one will argue against that. But the things always left unsaid in this type of conversation include the fact East Tenn and Blount County are not alone in this. Nationwide, rural officers make less than their urban counter parts. (link...)

The attrition rate is high for all law enforcement agencies but pay is not the only cause. I would guess in an exit interview it is much easier to say the reason for separation is pay rather than any other issue.

And PS R- No, it takes many years for a new development to start paying for their infrastructure / use increase. Remember all the chatter about 'Adequate Facilities Tax taxes"? Gads, we can't do that! That would upset the developers....

Tourism and large prison

Tourism and large prison populations just don't seem like a great combination. That is one reason I really have no desire to go back to Frozen Head Park.

Spending

Good catch Randy. I thought the exact same thing when I read where Cunningham wanted to increase taxes for the sheriff but a few weeks earlier he said he worked hard NOT to raise taxes. And what's this with the SRO folks being put on patrol? Wasn't there an accounting issue about using SRO money for regular patrol people.

And the bonus thing also got overlooked. I'd like to add that, from my persception (and I have no real facts) that patrol people get overtime pay often for doing things like sit at construction sites, etc. So I would venture to guess that the pay is more than the base salary.

And what about paying for the support staff of bringing in more federal prisoners. I'd still like to see an independent evaluation of whether housing federal prisoners really does NOT cost us taxpayers more. What it reall seems to do is put the sheriff in better position to lobby for federal funds for race tracks, shooting ranges, swatmobiles, etc.

Cunningham cussin' up a storm!

SeeJaneRide

Did anyone catch Cunningham's swearing tirade at the end of tonight's budget meeting on the web feed? Apparently, he used the full context of S-O-B to describe a Blount School Board member.

Ladies and gents, this IS the Blount County Mayor!!!

SROs

See the end of this article with questions about the SROs...

http://www.thedailytimes.com/article/20080708/NEWS/478709481" target="_blank

Sorry about the nonlinky thingy.

Last night was ....

In other business, the Budget Committee voted to ask the full County Commission to vote on a proposal to allow Commissioner David Graham to work with Goddard in drafting a new question for the state attorney general

Bull. Just bull. Just a way to get it off their desk or as those of us in the corporate world know it... " if in doubt - route!" Anything to get that hot potato off their desks and on to someone else's.

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