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State Mandate and Sub-Par Salaries Drive Increased Budget Request
Friday, May 31, 2013

Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott has submitted the Sheriff's Office proposed budget for fiscal year 2013-2014 to the Board of County Commissioners.  This year's request asks for $4.8 million dollars more than the current approved fiscal year budget, a 3.6% increase, totaling $142,587,468 dollars.

In a letter to Commission Chairman Cecil Pendergrass, Sheriff Scott said, "With this time of economic uncertainty that all local governments are facing, we have worked diligently with the County Commissioners and County Administrators to help reduce our past budgets, but have come to the realization that certain mitigating issues will not allow for a reduction this fiscal year."  The Sheriff notes half of the increase is because of a 5% jump in the employer contribution required by the Florida Retirement System. 

The budget proposal includes funding for 1,536 positions, of which, 1,047 are in the high-risk, certified deputy categories of law enforcement, corrections and court services.  Sheriff Scott added, "Based on our current market analysis data, it is evident that our employees are paid significantly below the market rate; therefore, we are requesting a merit increase to adjust our current employee’s salaries." The increase would be 3% across the board.  

Other factors generating the need for additional funding include a rise in maintenance costs due to retention of older vehicles and boat motors.  Inmate medical costs are also on the rise.  The proposed budget does not include adding School Resource Officers to local elementary schools.  That topic is planned for a special meeting scheduled with the Board of County Commissioners on June 17, 2013. 

The complete letter from the Sheriff  to the Commission Chairman, as well as the required line item budget is posted on the Sheriff's Office website at under the About Us tab, then click Public Reports  Additionally, the Five Year Strategic Plan and 2012 Scorecard are published in that section.  

Media inquiries are directed to the Public Information Officer at (239) 477-1340.