At the April 3rd meeting of the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors, supervisors expressed the desire to cut expenses by reducing personnel but ended up authorizing the hiring of a new deputy, anyway.
"We're at bare bones right now," Sheriff Dave Scott told the supervisors. He recommended the hiring of a deputy to keep the county law enforcement staff up to five deputies plus the sheriff.
For around the clock coverage, it takes 4.2 employees at 40 hours a week to cover a 168 hour week, not counting covering for vacations, holiday comp time, other leave and working special events that require more than one county law officer.
The sheriff's department also employs support staff including jail workers, communications center workers and clerical workers.
Matt Lugar, chief deputy, has put in his notice that he is resigning. He has accepted a position in Ida County.
The supervisors noted that budget cuts will be needed in the future but decided that a deputy position cannot be eliminated at this time. Ron Wetherell, chairman, said the supervisors had been attempting to make more drug prosecutions a priority. Having a fully staffed sheriff's department is part of that process, according to Wetherell.
All four supervisors present - Wetherell, Dean Schmidt, Terry Graybill and Mark Leeds - voted to authorize the civil service commission to prepare another deputy list. The civil service list is valid for two years and expired in January.
Scott said he will consider seeking a deputy from another county who is already civil service qualified. It was not known whether this process could be used to avoid creating a whole new list, a process of testing and advertising that would cost the county between $3,500 and $4,000.
Scott will appoint the chief deputy from among the deputies.