GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Only a few weeks remain until the 2013-2014 fiscal year begins and the Josephine County budget committee met for the final time before the budget is approved with some changes impacting law enforcement.
“We spent down next year’s carry over reserves by about $360,000 to provide for maintain the the 100 jail beds that we have right now, or there abouts, and making sure that we have adequate district attorneys to prosecute those who were incarcerated,” said Josephine County Commissioner Simon Hare.
The move comes a week after Josephine County voters rejected a levy that would have helped public safety. Sheriff Gil Gilbertson had mixed feelings after the meeting.
“I’m some what encouraged and somewhat disappointed,” said Gilbertson.
While it’s not yet official, it appears thanks to carry over reserve funds, no inmates will be let out of jail. Sheriff Gilbertson said patrols on the other hand will see the expected cuts.
“I will have budget for one deputy. The reality of that individual doing what needs to be done here is remote to almost non existent,” said
While Josephine County works out the next budget, several proposed bills in Salem would allow the state to intervene in struggling counties.
“To come in here and do something in the way of maintaining adequate levels of service for the criminal justice system here in Josephine County and in other counties around the state,” said Hare.
Commissioner Hare says he doesn’t think the state can best serve Josephine County residents.
“We have the best ability to carry out the will locally rather than having that dictated from salem 300 miles away. That just doesn’t make any sense for some of the programs,” said Hare.