Once again, the jail transfer negotiations between the county and the sheriff’s department have hit an impasse with the sheriff’s internal service fund and accumulated leave payouts, though most of the other kinks have been worked out.
The Wednesday morning meeting dragged on for three hours, with at least two-thirds of that dedicated to back-and-forth negotiation between Chief Deputy Eric Haines and county budget director Amy Lovoy on whether the sheriff would be allowed to keep the ISF at a capped limit, do away with it entirely or come up with some other way to satisfy both parties.
Lovoy’s proposal would require the sheriff’s department to pay all required Fair Labor Standards Act leave related to the jail transition and all required leave payouts up until September 30 from the remaining ISF, and then return unspent ISF money to the county. The county would then inherit liability for all detention-related leave.
Additionally, the sheriff would be allowed to keep up to a maximum of $1 million in the ISF at the end up of the 2012-13 fiscal year to help pay for required leave payouts in the 2013-14 fiscal year, with the aid of whatever lapsed salaries the sheriff has for that year.
Haines argued that such an agreement would create a complete lack of leave funding for the 2014-15 budget and refused to agree to the terms, instead offering a 60/40 split of the current, leftover ISF as well as the leftover lapsed salaries in exchange for being allowed to continue the ISF as it currently stands – so that they can continue to put money into it to pay for future leave payouts.
“As soon as I agree to that, you’ll just change the sport again,” Lovoy said. “Instead of playing football, we’re playing lacrosse now. As soon as I say ‘Yes,’ you’re going to say ‘Oh, that’s not what I meant. I meant something else.’”
Neither side seemed willing to budge on their demands and Interim County Commissioner George Touart plans to ask the Board of County Commissioners to call a special meeting so that both sides can present their cases and let the board decide where to go with it next.
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