REDDING, CA – Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko's plea for more than $2 million to close his department's nearly $4 million budget gap was rejected June 8 as the board of supervisors voted unanimously to continue with the department's cuts, reported Record Searchlight.
The Sheriff's Office faced a $3,946,824 budget deficit before last year's carryover, unanticipated grants and asset-seizure money reduced the deficit to $2,296,106, reported Searchlight.
A total of 11 deputy, three public safety officer, two support personnel, two correctional officer, and one sergeant positions will be cut in addition to leaving 27 unfilled positions vacant, Bosenko said. Deputies from Shingletown and Lakehead have been pulled in to cover the Redding basin, reported Searchlight.
Aside from layoffs, proposed final cuts include closing a floor of the jail, resulting in the release of nearly 150 prisoners, and ending the work-release program, according to Searchlight.
Supervisors Baugh and David Kehoe repeatedly pushed Bosenko to identify specific areas where money could be found to cover the department's deficit. Bosenko said contingency and reserve funds along with capital improvement funds could help cover the cost.
Moty, Redding's former police chief, said taking money from county reserves wouldn't solve the department's problem, but would postpone it until next year. He also criticized Bosenko for hiring 19 people despite the economic decline last year.
Moty then attacked Bosenko for buying new fleet vehicles, including a truck for himself. However, Bosenko said it was a used truck and the other vehicle replacements were necessary - one had an irreparable water leak and the others had high mileage, reported Searchlight.
In their closing statements, all five supervisors said public safety was important, but the cuts remained necessary.
Searchlight reported the board of supervisors will vote June 30 on the final county budget.
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