From: Bartholomew County Sheriff Matthew Myers
As I entered the 2016 budgeting process, my first since being elected sheriff, I found that county government was in a very serious budget crunch. Now I enter the 2017 budgeting process and find that this serious situation continues and that little seems to have been done over the past year, leaving our county’s finances on a sinking ship.
It is still premature to say what impacts this will have. County government has fallen behind, and the consequences could be dire.
This is not a time to point fingers. It’s time to negotiate, to hammer out a compromise, to discuss solutions to help us out of this financial upheaval. We need a clear agenda. Bartholomew County must be more aggressive in investment, both in people and in resources, and we need to discuss real solutions, not temporary fixes.
This is also becoming a public safety issue. Your sheriff’s department has been hit particularly hard. The sheriff’s department needs manpower, new vehicles and equipment, new radios and body cameras. During the past year, we have revised our schedules, we worked with Cummins Inc. representatives through two Six Sigma projects, and we periodically discussed our concerns with Bartholomew County Council members in our attempt to avoid another unproductive budget session.
Since County Council is discussing serious shortfalls and additional taxes, I encourage residents to get involved and attend these hearings. With the full attention of elected officials and taxpayers working together, I know we can find positive ways to regain control of our county’s finances.