Board grants sheriff’s request for saved money

By Alex Bridges

WOODSTOCK — Shenandoah County Sheriff Timothy Carter can use some of the nearly $100,000 he saved last fiscal year — just not all of it.

The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to grant the sheriff’s request for carryover funds — money in his agency’s fiscal 2014 budget that went unspent — minus approximately $20,000 he plans to use for part-time salaries and transportation costs.

Carter asked for $98,217 that he would then put back into specific programs. Of the amount, Carter indicated he would put $58,333 into overtime pay for investigators. The sheriff also requested that the board allow him to transfer $19,621 originally to pay for the home electronic monitoring program — plus $1,512 allocated for the use this fiscal year — to part-time salaries to offset prisoner transportation costs.

The board voted 4-2 against a motion by Supervisor Cindy Bailey to appropriate the $21,000 as the sheriff requested. Supervisor Marsha Shruntz voted for the motion. Chairman David Ferguson, Vice Chairman Conrad Helsley and Supervisors John R. “Dick” Neese and Steve Baker opposed granting the request.

“It should be pointed out again that that money for the EIP, it was already decided — and Mr. Chairman brought it up — to be used for the overtime money that was taken from his budget,” Bailey said after the vote on her motion.

Sheriff Carter said Wednesday that he changed his request for the $21,000 at the suggestion of the board at a work session. The sheriff said he hadn’t decided whether or not he would come back to the board and ask again for the $21,000 for the intended purpose.

The board voted 6-0 to approve the remaining carryover requests.

“That’s a lot of overtime dollars there that wasn’t spent, that’s going back that can be spent,” Ferguson said.

The sheriff told the board at a previous work session that he would instead transfer the $19,621, plus $1,512 already in the program this fiscal year, to part-time salaries to offset prisoner transportation costs. The Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail runs an electronic incarceration program and the sheriff said very few inmates remained in the local program.

At the work session the board agreed to put the request on the meeting’s consent agenda — a list of items acted on in a group that usually warrants no further discussion. Supervisors can vote to take items off a consent agenda for further discussion and possible action should a member make such a request.

The board voted 4-2 on Neese’s motion to take the sheriff’s requests off the consent agenda. Bailey and Shruntz opposed the move, with Bailey asking why the board should take the item off the list after having “vetted” the request at the work session. Neese said he merely wanted to discuss the matter further. The board then approved the remaining items on the consent agenda.

During the discussion about the sheriff’s request, Neese voiced concerns over Carter’s desire to use $21,000 for the home electronic monitoring program. Neese questioned why the sheriff would use the money for electronic incarceration if the regional jail had its own program. Bailey reminded Neese that the sheriff had said he would put the money into part-time salaries. Neese went on to say that he didn’t understand what the sheriff meant by “transportation costs.”

County Administrator Mary T. Price explained that Carter stated in the memo provided to the board the sheriff would put the money into transportation. The county had a couple of inmates in the local program in July and August, Price said.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com