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Avery Sheriff Issues 'Open Letter' to Residents PDF Print
Written by Steve Frank   
Thursday, 07 June 2012 05:30

As the budget process heads toward local governmental entities passing budgets for the 2012-13 fiscal year, Avery Sheriff Kevin Frye is reaching out to the public with his concerns over a number of budget matters—matters he says are becoming a public safety concern. In an open letter, Frye points to a commitment the county made in taking grant money for a deputy’s position three years ago, a grant that funded first 85% of a deputy position, including car, then 70%, then 50% in the succeeding years.  In the fourth year—the year upcoming—the county was to fully fund the position.  The sheriff says that position has now been cut, after the county took the $85,000 savings through the grant. The sheriff also took issue with county salaries, and pointed out that only 6 counties pay deputies less than Avery, counties with much less property value. He also pointed out that the county has backed away from its vehicle replacement plan, replacing sheriff’s vehicles with over 100,000 miles.  Now away from that replacement plan, he says 6 patrol vehicles are being operated with over 100,000 miles, and that 6 more will reach that threshold in the coming year.  Frye says he’s not picking a fight with commissioners, and knows his is not the only department in need, and says that he knows their budget process has no malice, but he feels the public needs to know what the county is facing, and how that might affect public safety from law enforcement to fire and rescue.  Avery Commissioners plan to adopt the budget June 18th.

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