Sheriff's budget not prudent

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The last sentence of Sheriff Strada' s letter: "The Sheriff's Office budget" as printed in the May 9-May 15, 2019 edition of the Advertiser-News North read: "We encourage concerned citizens to look at the numbers and review our budget." Okay, let's have a go at it.

To partially quote the second paragraph: "In 2018, the total adjusted budget --- was $16,365,739,of which $14,392,206 was spent, with $1,973,533 reserved/unspent- almost $2 million saved."

Excuse me, but $1,973,533, or 12.06 percent of the original budget being reserved is not money saved, it's a sign of bad budgeting. It's a slush fund. Especially since the 2018 budget of $16,365,739 was $1,778,893, or 12.20%, more than the Department had spent in 2017.

The third paragraph reads in part: "results in a $71,029 reduction for 2019." Should that have read: "a $71J.29 reduction"?

For 2016: Budget $16,155,664, spent $14,738,142, slush fund $1,417,522, or 8.77 percent. For 2017: Budget $16,222,761, spent $14,586,846, slush fund $1,635,915, or 10.08 percente. For 2018: Budget $16,365,739, spent $14,392,206, slush fund $1,973,533, or 12.06%.

For 2019: Budget $16,294,410. Which is a $1,902,204, or 13.22%, increase, slush fund, from the $14,392,206 that was spent in 2018.

Obviously the problem continues and is apparently increasing.

To overbudget by almost $2 million, or 12 percent, is not a "prudent budget"! It's forcing us Sussex County taxpayers to needlessly pay an extra almost $2 million in property taxes that we could use to buy food, medicine, etc. This almost $2 million could have, and should have, totally eliminated the freeholders' obscene $1.78 million tax increase this year.

It should be remembered that while these numbers do include salaries, wages and other expenses, they do not include the employees' benefit packages.

What ever happened to the Republican Party's smaller government and lower taxes? Are they all RINOs?

Will the last taxpayer to bail out of Sussex County please turn out the lights?

William H. Gettler

Wantage Township

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