OKLAHOMA CITY - Acting Oklahoma County Sheriff PD Taylor says public safety has to be a priority. He is upset about a "no" vote to increase the budget for his office.
“I was totally shocked and offended,” said Taylor.
The County voted 4-3, rejecting the recommended amount of more than $800,000 presented by the budget evaluation team.
Taylor says the additional funding was needed for an increase in inmate medical and food contracts.
Instead, the office will need to function with $34 million: The same amount as last year.
“It was really just a slap in my face and to the employees,” Taylor said.
But those who voted "no," disagree.
“And if we've given you money to do it and you choose to spend it somewhere else then we can't just keep rewarding that bad behavior by continuously giving you more and more money,” said County Commissioner Brian Maughan with District 2.
Sheriff Taylor says the additional $800,000 was instead doled out to other departments.
That includes the:
- Court clerk who received more than: $343,000
- County clerk: $250,000.
- District 2 County Commissioner Maughan received: nearly $100,000
Maughan plans to use the funding for school parking repairs.
“Our local community will be facing school districts looking like Baghdad, parking lots where buses are trying to navigate around holes that swallow up small vehicles,” said Maughan.
But without the increase, Sheriff Taylor says covering his additional costs will come at a hefty price.
“And if they cut me where I can't pay bills, they want me to do away with the patrol division,” said Taylor.
Commissioner Maughan insists it's about making sacrifices.
“We just have to do what we have to do and no one likes that but that's just being the adult in the room here,” Maughan said.
The Oklahoma County Sheriff`s office does not have a vote on the budget without a current elected sheriff sitting on the board.
Taylor will be holding several town hall meetings this week and next. He's hoping board members will rescind their decision.