Supervisors must question each cost

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Adams County’s elected officials, including two who won’t be at the table in January, are doing some of their most important work this week.

And we urge them to be diligent.

The board of supervisors has started a weeklong set of meetings to examine the budget requests of various county departments.

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Monday’s meeting raised a few red flags right of the bat.

Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield came to the board requesting a budget increase — to the tune of nearly half a million dollars.

But even more shocking than the dollars Mayfield apparently thought the county had to spare was the fact that he didn’t even need it to accomplish the goals he outlined.

County Administrator Joe Murray quickly pointed out that the sheriff’s office still had money left from last year’s budget that could cover the purchase of new cars, new hires, maintenance and more Mayfield wanted.

The board of supervisors will review all the budgets before approving a final budget for the coming fiscal year, and we hope they will keep their eyes on requests such as Mayfield’s.

Just because there is money left in the sheriff’s budget to add a long list of new things to the department doesn’t mean those things are needed.

The supervisors must question why the ACSO had such a large budget last year and whether or not the money is well spent.

How many vehicles are in use? How many cell phones? Is there a better plan for jail maintenance, food and health care?

The same questions will likely arise in department after department.

It’s no easy task, but time spent now may very well be money earned later for the county and the taxpayers.

The people trusted you. Don’t let them down.