(Juneau) The Dodge County Sheriff says attempts by Dodge County Board supervisors to trim up to a half-million dollars from his department’s budget would have had a huge impact on public safety. In the end, when the budget was adopted last week, only $74-thousand dollars was removed from the patrol division and that’s because the position had not been filled. Sheriff Dale Schmidt called out the county board members pushing the amendment changes for not reaching out to fully understand the impact they could have on operations and public safety. Schmidt says those county board members brought forward the amendments with their own spin on it so they could get them to pass. He says if his office would have been able to explain the impacts of the amendments, the one that ultimately did get approval would have failed to garner enough support.
Schmidt says several supervisors – including David Guckenberger, Kira Sheahan-Malloy, Cathy Houchin and Jeff Berres – do not appropriately communicate with county department heads or elected officials and encourages the pubic to ask them why. He says he has offered many times to answer questions or provide information but the invitation has not been accepted by this group of supervisors. Schmidt does say that there are good board members who ask questions and make educated decisions.
One of the Supervisors called out by the Sheriff, David Guckenberger, says he takes issue with the sheriff’s comments and the implication that the four supervisors are controlling the actions of the board. Guckenberger says himself and the other three supervisors do not share committees and to imply that some sort of collusion is taking place is below the dignity of most elected officials. Schmidt says that the Sheriff’s Office accepts and understands that there will be times the board goes against his budgetary requests and says he will continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of the county.
Listen to the Sheriff Dale Schmidt on WBEV’s Community Comment on Wednesday November 20, 2019
Listen to County Board Supervisor David Gukenberger respond to Schmidt’s remarks: