Local News: LCSO Cut Backs Delayed; City Budget Committee To Meet; Shooting Deemed Justified

Expected layoffs of Sheriff’s Deputies and jail bed closures will be delayed until at least next month.  That’s because of a deal brokered by West Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich.

Jay Bozievich – “I started working with the sheriff and the DA and the County Administrator trying to find a way to push the layoffs out into the budget season.”

Bozievich said by delaying the layoffs, it gives the Lane County Budget Committee more control over what will happen.

Jay Bozievich – “The administrator found a way that the sheriff could reallocate some of the road funds that he’s getting and get those funds earlier so it would delay the layoffs so that we could have a serious conversation about public safety at the budget committee level.”

That makes the question of what cuts to make and how deep to make them a more public process he says.

Jay Bozievich – “What it does it is gives the budget committee the opportunity to make some decisions around the sheriff’s patrol and road fund usage, whereas if you started the layoffs now it would have been a done deal.”

The Lane County Budget Committee is expected to begin meeting on the entire Lane County Budget later this month.

Florence Budget Announced

The City of Florence Budget Committee will meet this evening for the first time this year.  They’ll hear the annual budget message delivered by City Manager Jacque Betz, and also get a first look at the draft budget.  Betz has identified several major issues that came out of the city’s long term financial planning process last year; including a gap in the street maintenance funds and the expiration of payments from Lane County that would be used to pay off financing of the Florence Events Center two years before the debt is actually paid off.

Despite the challenges, she says the city is still in a better economic position than most other local governments in the state.  The budget committee meets at City Hall at six pm.

DA Says Deputy Justified in Shooting

The Lane County District Attorney says a sheriff’s deputy was legally justified in shooting a woman who reached for a gun last week.  31-year old Jennifer Tucker admitted pulling out a .44-caliber revolver during the confrontation with the deputy east of Springfield early last week.  She told an investigator she had been – quote – “stupid” to do it.

Deputy Jason Wilson shot Tucker four times, striking her in the neck, chest and hand.  She remains hospitalized and has not been charged with any crime in connection with the April 2nd shooting.