Submitted by Sheriff's Office
Responding to the citizen’s concerns regarding government spending, Sheriff Donnie Craig is asking for the community’s input as it relates to how the Office spends money. During recent public meetings with the County Commissioner, several citizens have been demanding that government reduce spending. These are concerns that Sheriff Craig has taken very seriously regarding the budget for the Pickens Sheriff’s Office. Craig stated “the bottom line is we work for the citizens of Pickens County and as public servants we have the responsibility to manage the resources that we have been provided in the most frugal and efficient way possible.”
On September 27th at 6:00 pm, Sheriff Craig is hosting a Town Hall meeting in the Performing Arts Auditorium of the Pickens County High School. Sheriff Craig is inviting all elected officials to be in attendance to answer public questions as they pertain to the management of their offices.
In addition to the Town Hall meeting, Sheriff Craig is asking all citizens to go to www.pickensgasheriff.com and complete the short anonymous survey on the public’s opinion of where additional savings can be made.
Craig said “We have reached a point of budget cuts that any additional reductions will require us to cut services.” Sheriff Craig went on to say “If we have to begin cutting the services that we provide, I would like to have as much public input as possible before moving forward.”
“I don’t believe that the average citizen knows that a beginning deputy Sheriff with our office earns between $27,000 and $28,000 per year. This rate that has not increased in 7 years is one of the lowest pay rates in all of north Georgia.” Craig continued, “Close to 75% of our budget is personnel and with pay at a minimum, we are running out of places to trim the budget. Within our staff, we have cut the positions of Chief Deputy and Majors and combined the several positions. To save more, services are the only thing left to cut.”
Through an anonymous survey, the Pickens Sheriff’s Office will be able to evaluate what areas, if any, the public would like to see reduced as we wait for the economy to turn around. During the Town Hall meeting, these results will be discussed and made available.