Pocahontas Sheriff’s Overtime Money Approved By Commission
Marlinton, WV – After at least two previous requests fell flat, the Pocahontas County Commission finally approves a budget revision that will give Sheriff David Jonese some much need money to pay for overtime for his deputies.
Jonese’s budget for overtime had recently fallen below $10.00 with six months left in the fiscal year. However he has a surplus of funds still left in his capital outlay account, due to the fact that he purchased a new Sheriffs dept vehicle for half the amount that was budgeted. It is from this account that he requests to shift money to his overtime budget. Commissioner Martin Saffer offered his opinion about the request during the County Commission meeting Tuesday night.
“My feeling about it that the Sheriff is the elected official; he has x number of dollars to fill his mandate of his office” says Saffer. “If we have to revise his budget at his suggestion for him to fulfill his mandate – as long as he doesn’t leave the parameters of that budget and put us in debt, I don’t see a harm in acknowledging and endorsing his request so that he can do that.”
Saffer offers one caveat, that this request doesn’t translate into an even bigger budget for the Sheriff next year. Sheriff Jonese assured Saffer that is not the case.
He says he went through his overtime budget of $30,000.00 in the first six months of this fiscal year, but offers this explanation.
“We can work all the time” says Jonese. “The reason we’re so short is we were down three positions for most of this fiscal year, so we were constantly burning hours trying to keep a presence [in the county] and do what we needed to do.”
Jonese says there is a great deal of overtime used in covering summer festival throughout the county. He says with a full staff properly trained, he hopes to keep overtime to a minimum in the future. He says the Sheriffs Dept Auxiliary Force volunteers will also be available to offer more assistance, lessening the need for his deputies to be on duty.
Jonese offered something else to sweeten the deal. He has approxiamately $13,100.00 left in this capital outlay account. He told the Commissioners if they were willing to transfer $7000.00 to his overtime budget, he would turn the remaining $6100.00 back over to them to use as they see fit. The Commissioners agreed to the budget revision.
In other business, the Commission approved the hiring of Stacy McCarty as County Deputy Clerk. County Clerk Melissa Bennett says that this hire, combined with a part time position that will not be filled, will result in a savings of about $29,000.00 for her office in the next fiscal year.
The Commission also approved the appointment of Harold Dean Gunter, II to the Pocahontas County Emergency Medical Services Authority board. Gunter is the Director of Our Ambulance Service at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital and will serve on the board as the representative for that squad.