COLDWTER, MI (WTVB) - With jobs and livelihoods hanging in the balance, a lot of question marks remain for a number of Branch County Sheriff’s Department deputies who face possible layoffs beginning January First. The County Board of Commissioners Finance Committee met this morning for the committee’s final session before Thursday’s last full County Board meeting of the year. It’s the day after tomorrow when the Board will adopt the county’s 2013 budget and that spending plan is still taking shape, meaning the number of road patrol deputies who will be working next year remains an unknown.
Retiring Sheriff Warren Cannon and Sheriff-elect John Pollack both addressed Commissioners today and Cannon gave the committee a new nut to chew on. He said he met with County Administrator Bud Norman yesterday to reveal that his department basically has a budget surplus for 2012 to carry forward to next year with about two hundred thousand dollars remaining each in the road patrol and corrections department budgets with a total surplus possibly as high as 600-thousand dollars.
Finance committee chairman Commissioner Rod Olney briefly reacted saying that’s the first he’s heard of the black ink. The Sheriff’s Department quandary exists following last month’s defeat at the polls of a millage increase to fund the road patrol.