Sheriff Deryl Loar to ask for $500,000 budget increase

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Sheriff Deryl Loar is expected to present his budget proposal at a public meeting this evening at the Sheriff’s Office that does not fall in line with what the Board of County Commissioners has requested.

Instead of trimming 10 percent of his budget – what would equate to $4.2 million – Sheriff Loar is seeking an increase of $500,000. Loar has cited mandatory increases in employer pension contributions for deputies and support personnel as the reason why he can’t meet the goal of cutting his budget.

Prior to the July 14 budget workshop where the Sheriff’s Office budget will be considered by commissioners, Loar will take his argument for more money to the public, and more importantly, to members of the media.

An email was sent out to media representatives this week announcing a public meeting to review the Sheriff’s budget, though the release was posted to the Sheriff’s website, www.ircsheriff.org, on July 1.

“He (Sheriff Loar) would like to offer the public an opportunity to hear the proposal and the reasons he feels his budget request is in the best interest to the citizens of Indian River County,” the press release states.

The presentation will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the auditorium at the IRCSO Administration Building at 4055 41st Ave.

This meeting is a chance for Loar to get his message across unfiltered and unchallenged by commissioners or staff — on his own turf.

Loar has frequently appeared before the Board of County Commissioners with professionally designed video and Powerpoint presentations when he needs support for his department.

Commissioners were not copied on the email sent to more than 20 print, broadcast and online media outlets across the Treasure Coast. VeroNews.com has discovered that at least one commissioner was not aware of the meeting until being notified by a union representative on Tuesday evening.

Should commissioners grant Loar’s request, County Administrator Joe Baird would need to go back to all the other departments and ask them to divide up the extra $4.7 million in cuts to offset the funds for the Sheriff’s Office.

Loar’s budget request comes at a time when the county is cutting staffing and programs to the bone, and when Loar is on shaky ground with commissioners for not cutting his 2009-2010 budget as much as was requested last year.

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