The following press release has been received from the Mike Mahon for Sheriff campaign:
MAHON DETAILS PLAN TO CUT $1 MILLION ANNUALLY
FROM SHERIFF’S BUDGET
Sheriff’s candidate Mike Mahon Monday released the details on his plan to cut $1 million annually from the McHenry County Sheriff’s budget with no impacts on public safety.
He added that more cuts could probably be identified and implemented once he was Sheriff.
“Nothing matters more in these tough economic times than that every nickel of taxpayer funds be targeted to accomplish the essential mission, not to build good will for the officeholder,” Mahon said. “Feel-good programs, waste and cronyism are out and focused, sensible programs are in. That’s the message from taxpayers to those at every level of government.”
In almost every government budget, far and away the largest expense is salaries of full-time employees. Cuts in the permanent payroll are often the hardest to make, but also the most significant, in that the reduction continues in following years unless the positions are restored.
Also, every full-time position carries associated benefits such as pension, medical insurance and the like. These benefit costs are customarily estimated at 25% of salary.
Mahon suggested that the following positions could be eliminated without adverse impact:
- CALEA Coordinator: $71,574 per year + 25% personnel benefits = $89,467
- EEOC Officer: $91,001 + 25% personnel benefits = $113,751
- 1 Police Captain: $107,403 + 25% personnel benefits = $134,253
- 1 Deputy Chief of Corrections: $106,998 + 25% personnel benefits = $133,747
- 1 Court Security Chief: $61,799 + 25% personnel benefits = $77,248
- 1 Business Manager: $81,200 + 25% personnel benefits = $101,500
- 1 Mechanic Supervisor: $82,857 + 25% personnel benefits = $103,571
Total = $753,537 per year
In order to adequately discuss the next cuts, a brief word is necessary about “span of control,” a term used frequently in law enforcement management to describe the number of individuals or resources that one supervisor can manage effectively. Other researchers have defined it as simply how many people a manager is responsible for communicating to.
According to recent studies, today the overwhelming trend in government and business is for higher span of control ratios (i.e. fewer supervisors over larger numbers of officers).
Advocates of this leaner, “flatter” strategy cite factors like improving communications and reducing costs by eliminating multiple levels of management as the rationale for the trend. They say that to budget-conscious jurisdictions, the possible financial saving with little perceived increased risk is attractive.
As an example of top-heavy supervision in the current force structure of the Sheriff’s Office, Mahon cited the Investigative Bureau, which currently employs a Lieutenant, 4 Sergeants, 9 detectives and 5 deputies.
- The Sergeant in charge of the evidence room supervises only 2 deputies,
- the Narcotics Sergeant supervises only 2 detectives and
- the Apprehension Sergeant supervises 2 deputies.
- The Detective Sergeant supervises 7 detectives.
The span of control for Sergeants in that Bureau therefore ranges from 1/2 to 1/7.
For the Sheriff’s Office as a whole, reductions could be achieved by the elimination of three supervisors (Sergeants or Lieutenants) by attrition, and reassignment of the various rank-and-file officers to other supervisors.
Thus, 3 Supervisors @ $90,000 X 3 + 25% personnel benefits = $337,500
This amount, combined with the $753,537 detailed above, equals a Grand Total of $1,091,037.
Even with the changes articulated above, the Sheriff’s Office as a whole would fall well within the acceptable levels of span of control as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“Not only could we cut supervisors, but my plan includes placing more gold stars on the street, some of whom are currently house-bound in the headquarters or other offices,”
“I am also confident that further cuts could be achieved, but this would be a good start. We need to get the fat out of government, and it won’t be easy, but it’s the only way to restore the trust of taxpayers.”