4 February 2013
Jail Levy is about balancing budget…
Lane County Commissioners will review and take comments tomorrow on a proposed five-year public safety levy that would be used primarily to fund jail operations. Sheriff Tom Turner says it may be normal for residents to wonder about cutting expenses before asking for more money. But in this case, he’s way beyond cutting… In 2007 the Sheriff’s office operated with a 40-million-plus dollar budget and had more than 400 employees.
Tom Turner – “Now, 7 years later we have slightly less than $21-million and we have about 228 employees.”
The 55-cents per thousand dollars levy under consideration right now would generate just under $14-million a year for five years… most of that would go to Turner for jail operations.
Tom Turner – “That brings slightly over 12-million to the sheriff’s office and that will bring 120 more beds to the 135 that we have right now.”
It may not bring additional patrols, but Turner says it will make a tremendous difference. Under current operations he’s unable to ensure that felony prisoners serve their entire terms… and possibly even more important… he’ll be able to hold more prisoners until their trial, ensuring that those who break the law in Lane County are held accountable.
Roblan looks at increased workload in Senate
Lawmakers were officially sworn in three weeks ago, but they hit the ground running today in Salem. 5th district Oregon Senator Arnie Roblan says things will go at a different pace for him this time around. After eight years in the House he makes his first appearance across the hall where he discovered one major difference right off the bat.
Arnie Roblan – “There are half as many people in the Senate and therefore when you divide up the work you get more, so I’ll have four fairly heavy duty committees.”
Roblan will chair one of those, the Rural Communities and Economic Development. He also serves on the Judiciary; Public Safety; and Education and Workforce Development.
Many businesses work hard to help improve the community by donating money, merchandise and services to worthy causes… Others provide incentives for their employees to volunteer on a regular basis. One coastal business will close all five of their locations tomorrow so their employees can spend the day helping out. Roby’s Furniture and Appliance will close this afternoon and then reopen Wednesday morning.
Tomorrow their employees will be assisting at least four food banks, three animal shelters and several other causes up and down the coast. In Florence, the Roby’s folks will spend the morning at Florence Food Share… then, weather permitting, will spend the afternoon washing the outside windows at Siuslaw Elementary School…