EATON — The Preble County Board of Commissioners continues to discuss Sheriff Mike Simpson’s request for additional staff. Simpson has requested an additional Sheriff’s Deputy and Corrections Officer.
During a meeting on Monday, July 15, Commissioner Rodney Creech broached the topic up once more, in hopes of voting on the issue. However, Commissioner Denise Robertson requested a meeting with Sheriff Mike Simpson before she made her decision.
To start the discussion, Commissioner Creech referenced comments Commissioner Robertson made about “fluff” in the Sheriff’s budget.
“That $100,000 is money we put into his budget for inmate housing, so it’s not money that he was hiding. It was money we put into his budget for inmate housing, inmate housing decreased, and all we did was take that money and used it to cover overtime. There is no fluff in the Sheriff’s budget,” Creech said.
He added, he believes in being completely transparent and has been posting information about this discussion on social media for all to see. He read one comment he received he felt was especially poignant.
Creech also addressed all three commissioners being conservative and doing a “good job” with the budget.
“We’re fortunate, also, because we have a conservative Sheriff and he would not ask for anything if he didn’t need it. The Sheriff has been working the roads to save money — he mows his own grass, to save money. He does a lot of things. We have one of the more conservative sheriffs around,” he said.
Creech added, he has been meeting with Sheriff Simpson to verify the need and with Auditor Lavon Wright to ensure Preble County could afford the increase in positions.
“If we were in the financial position where we couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t ask, but I know where we are,” he said.
Robertson noted, this is the first time the board has been presented dollar figures associated with the reduction in overtime and since it is the Sheriff’s request, she would like to schedule a meeting with him to discuss the matter.
Commissioner Chris Day said he had spoken with the sheriff and is ready to hear his proposal in person. He wants to be sure whatever changes they make can be sustained over time.
The board planned to schedule a meeting with Sheriff Simpson for Monday, July 22, too late for press time.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH