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Sheriff gives up meal, tax-warrant money

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Contract will provide Glenn $85,000 annually next two years

By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

TELL CITY – Perry County Council members approved at a regular meeting Dec. 11 a first-ever contract for the county sheriff that will eliminate revenues he receives from two sources but make up for it in a fixed salary.

"The state board of accounts said they wanted all elected officials to be paid on a salary basis," Sheriff Bob Glenn told the commissioners before they approved the change at their Dec. 1 meeting. "You could not use the meals to subsidize any profit for a sheriff's deputy or anybody."

Revenues derived from tax warrants will also be cut from Glenn's pay.

County attorney Chris Goffinet told the commissioners he had reviewed the contract and at Glenn's suggestion inserted provisions about vacations and holidays identical to those for other elected officials.

Glenn said a new law ties sheriff's salaries to a county prosecutor's pay and county population, but it's up to a sheriff to negotiate a contract with the county commissioners and council.

The extra revenues were lucrative in some counties.

"It was $500,000 in Marion County," Commissioner Gary Dauby said.

"They were making a ton of money," Glenn responded. He said he consulted with the county council as its members were preparing the 2009 budget.

"I looked at my salary over the last years," he said, "and put a figure into play that is probably a little less … but it's in the ballpark."

Tax warrants generate $3,000 to $4,000 per year in Perry County, Glenn said, and he can spend up to $1.89 per meal per prisoner. He has been permitted to augment his salary with whatever he could save on each of the 2,500 to 3,500 meals provided to prisoners each month, he explained.

County Auditor Connie Berger said Tuesday this is the first contract under which the Perry County sheriff will serve, and the $85,000 he'll draw in 2009 and 2010 under it is close to the $36,758 salary and other revenues he was receiving.

In other business at the Dec. 1 meeting, the commissioners approved an interlocal agreement outlining services to be provided by Perry County Animal Shelter Inc., under which the county will pay $3,728 monthly, including fees contributed by Cannelton and Tell City. Troy officials opted not to contribute anything, according to Goffinet.

The commissioners also approved a separate interlocal agreement that outlines distributions of funds to the shelter. The county will pay $25,000, Tell City will pay $17,500 and Cannelton will pay $2,232.

Under an arrangement Commissioner Jody Fortwendel described as "interim to become permanent," two people share animal-control duties, for which they will split $2,625 per month. The contract for that service expires at the end of the year, Berger pointed out, so the commissioners will have to appoint someone to perform the duties.

The commissioners also approved an interlocal agreement for dispatch services to be provided in 2009. Goffinet said the county will pay $125,666 for the service.

No changes will occur in 2009 in the $5,000 the county paid to the Perry County Chamber of Commerce this year, the $24,500 going to the county's council on aging or the $23,467 paid for his own services, Goffinet said.

A $7,531 stipend County Emergency Management Director Steve Hauser will receive next year for coordinating 911 services reflects the $500 raise allotted for most employees.

Sandra Jarboe will continue to receive $1,470 for Local Emergency Planning Committee data-entry duties in 2009.

Goffinet said a letter from Hauser asks him to work with attorney John Werner on drafting an agreement that will allow the county to use Tell City and Perry Central schools as emergency shelters.

No action on the commissioners' part was necessary until the pact is presented to them for approval, the lawyer said.