Sheriff Statement – Budget
I would like to take this opportunity to respond to the News article entitled “Runaway Train of Purchasing” recently published. Let me first start by stating that I commend the Putnam County Board of Legislature for publicly questioning the proposed budget transfers as being fiscally responsible as they should with all County departments. Their role is to discuss through the individual committees and full Board of Legislature approval of the budgets of all County departments.
Budgets are estimates submitted during the Fall of the year preceding the next calendar year. They are estimates because no department can determine unanticipated costs a month or a year in advance. That is why traditionally money is and has always been transferred between budget lines in Putnam County not only at the end of year but throughout the entire year. The elected officials, the County Executive, District Attorney, County Clerk and Sheriff are solely responsible for running the operations of their respective offices.
In being fiscally responsible I held off purchasing various budgeted items until the end of the year to make sure money was available to purchase them. This is the reason I requested to transfer some money for purchases and did not purchase other items instead choosing to transfer other funds to Patrol overtime, which has been substantially underfunded for many years. Unfortunately, the Legislature has denied the transfer of these funds even though the Legislature approved similar transfers in 2018.
In addition to the proposed transfer for 2019 my office renegotiated the daily housing rate that the Putnam County Sheriff Department charges the United States Marshall’s Service to board in prisoners by generating an estimated additional $350,000 in revenue. This rate was established in 1992 and not renegotiated since. Moreover, our Civil Division increased its revenue by over 60% in 2019 by updating its policies and procedures to be consistent with existing laws.
So between the proposed budget transfers and increased revenue there should be no increase in your tax levy, or the amount you pay in your County taxes.
I look forward to working with County Executive Odell and the Board of Legislature on fiscal and all matters of public safety in the future.
Sheriff Robert L. Langley, Jr.