Commission looks at eliminating positions including Sheriff’s Office

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) City budget writers telling commissioners at any given time there are 300 to four hundred positions that are funded in the budget that are vacant.

So city leaders want to know can some of these be eliminated to free up tax dollars.

“We’re looking at places to make cuts we get accused of spending, spending we’re actually looking at places we can make cuts to balance this budget and get everybody taken care off,” says Commissioner Sammie Sias.

Commissioners set a goal of dozens and dozens of positions to eliminate, the Administrator brought back a list of 63, including 14 from the Sheriff’s office.

“The commission had a goal a very ambitious goal they wanted to eliminate 200 positions you’re going to have to touch everybody you’re going to have to touch the entire organization,” said City Administrator Janice Allen Jackson.

Top Sheriff’s Office brass sat in on the budget session, and even though the Administrator was just presenting options the Sheriff’ said cuts to his office shouldn’t be part of the discussion.

‘Hopefully again that is a discussion commissioners will also see that is not the direction we need to go right now we’re trying to hire more officers we’re trying to get the officers we got paid,” said Sheriff Richard Roundtree.

But commissioners say they’re looking at all the options to free up revenue.

“We don’t have any sacred cows in the government everybody has the same burden we have to be responsible to all the citizens of Augusta Richmond County and that’s the responsibility we have,” says Commissioner Ben Hasan.

Whether it’s the Sheriff’s Office whether it’s the Marshal or whether it’s any other elected official or department everything is one the table that’s what you call transparency,” said Commissioner Sias.

The Administrator has a recommendation to cut 40 to 45 positions from departments, which report to her, and not elected officials like the Sheriff, but of her recommendations only eight fall under the general fund budget.

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