Round 2: Sheriff v. BCC

Escambia Board of County Commissioners wants to once again sit down with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and work out a budget deal that would fund a pay plan for deputies. The groups have been at loggerheads for nearly a year. A mediation agreement reached last month fell apart when the two could not agree on the language of the interlocal agreement to implement it.

Last Thursday, the commission came out of its closed-door executive session and announced it would like to reopen the mediation. No details were given as what the county will propose to break the impasse but the commissioners are optimistic a deal can be negotiated.

If not, the sheriff’s budget appeal will be back in the lap of Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet, which have shown little appetite to get involved in the local issue.

The March mediation agreement was a four-year deal to give the Sheriff’s Office $1 million in additional funding on April 1 and $2.6 million each year for the next two years. The final year of the agreement would provide the Sheriff’s Office with $2.9 million.

The dispute that unraveled the deal was whether the funds should be inclusive of future increases in pension and health insurance costs.