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It's time to look at our high-priced Sheriff's Contract   June 2008 | from Jim Benedict, Del Mar


Our fair city is always looking for ways to expand revenue sources, but rarely looks at the exploding cost side of government. I think it is time to closely scrutinize our sheriff's contract that has grown over 100% in the last few years with little to no increase in protective services.

In 1998 the Sheriffs budget for our city's police protection was approximately $660,000. In 2008 the same budget, for the same basic services is $1.2 million. The notes in the published city budget states that this cost jump is mostly attributed to exploding pension costs.

Like the City of San Diego , our city is experiencing out-of-control pension increases.

It is high time that our city leaders take a hard look at other police protection options. One option that should be reviewed is forming a brand new police department with the cities of Solana Beach and Encinitas. Thanks to Mayor David Druker for taking a leadership role and bringing this issue up with the mayors of those cities. The solution is NOT to attach our protection needs to other cities like Coronado , Carlsbad , or San Diego . These cities also have the high price of backend benefits as well.

Another solution to explore is a new police force with highly paid police officers and fair pension plans.

We will have two new faces on the council this year with Henry and David retiring. Maybe this new city council can put a priority on reviewing the cost side of government with a focus on our police-protection contract.



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