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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – After taking a cut from the Macon-Bibb County commission, Bibb County Sheriff David Davis is trying to make his department’s budget work, but he does not want his employees to take a hit.
“They mean the world to me. We’re out here to do a job and we’re on the front line of protecting our citizens here. All of the things that happen in our community, the bad things that happen,” said Sheriff Davis. “I want to make sure those folks are appreciated and that they don’t get a pay cut for doing their job.”
The amended FY 2019 county budget includes three unpaid holidays for all county employees, including the sheriff’s department. That’s not case now, Sheriff Davis says his financial team found an alternative.
“We’re a 24/7 operation,” said Davis. “I have one person off, somebody else has to cover that shortage.”
Last month, Sheriff Davis, along with the Tax Commissioner, Clerk of Superior Court and Judge of Probate Court, sent a letter to the county manager. It states that those constitutional officers would not use furlough days for their employees. Instead, they would find another way to save money.
“We’re looking at various line items in our operating accounts, maybe some out of town travel on training, maybe adjust some of those budgets to not take that much of a hit,” said Davis.
Sheriff Davis says he would rather make a nearly $300,000 cut in other areas of the department, than put that burden on his employees.
“We know that we’re not going to do furloughs and hopefully that will change the minds of some people who might be wanting to leave and also give some assurances to those who want to come to work here that things are beginning to stabilize,” said Davis.
Mayor Reichert says other county department heads have tried to do the same as the sheriff’s department but by law, they cannot. Only constitutional officers can choose not to have the furlough and look at other areas to cut from.