Today I spoke with Sheriff Braidwood-he apologized for the lack of call back. He seemed pretty disheartened by the budget situation and said the the public would have to “feel the pain” before we would find funding.
The Sheriff claims that the county “is broke” and that “there’s no money to be found”. This obviously differs from Owosso mayor Ben Fredrick’s assessment of the budget situation.
He also told me that he felt that the millage was handled poorly, and that he didn’t see the petition language until the week before it was due. This was also the theme when I asked him about the lack of detailed budget: he stated that he hasn’t even seen his budget yet. It seems that with no county administrator, things aren’t getting done in a timely manner. The county has become reactive instead of proactive.
When I asked him about MCL 51.76.
According to him other sheriffs have tried to sue the county for funding but there has always been a question in the courts as to what “adequate” means. He was also concerned with the county having to deal with the legal costs involved in doing this. In other words, Option 2 has been eliminated from our plan
He agreed that cutting our road patrol will roll out the welcome matt to criminals and predators.
When asked about how state police coverage would compare to our existing patrols he stated that the state police have really stepped their patrols to help, they couldn’t do this for long. In other communities they have done the same thing, then slowly reduced patrols as other communities needed their help.
In a nutshell-I talked to a disheartened man who was stuck in a no win scenario. I will update a few sections of this blog later tonight to included his comments. I feel sorry for both the Sheriff and all of the public safety workers who will lose their jobs. I just hope the Sheriff doesn’t stop fighting for us!
I told him that we are here to help, and to please let us know what we could do.