Is 5% a Fair Admin Percentage for the Sheriff?
Residents Need to Know:
Is 5% a Fair Admin Percentage for the Sheriff?
At your board’s recent Workshop meeting, the renewal of Montgomery County’s Public Safety services agreement for additional coverage by the Sheriff for The Woodlands was reviewed with minimal challenges. However, GORDY BUNCH, Director at Position One, questioned the five percent administrative cost add-on in the contract and total amount being paid by The Woodlands Township. He proffered, strictly as an example, that five percent of an $8 million contract is $400,000 and considerably more than five percent of a $2 million contract which would be $100,000. He suggested that it might be time to insert a “sliding scale” as this administrative expense has gone up, but the Sheriff’s administrative costs would not necessarily be increased commensurate with that type of growth. DON NORRELL, The Woodlands Township President and General Manager, will discuss that issue in an upcoming meeting with the Sheriff and County officials.
93.3 % of local Sheriff Deputy’s expenses are paid from The Woodlands Township Tax (.3173) vs. being provided by the Montgomery County Tax (.4838).
Currently The Woodlands Township funds all expenses related to 83.5 of the 89.5 Sheriff’s personnel assigned to The Woodlands. The contract requires The Woodlands Township to fund all Payroll, Overtime, Equipment, Benefits, Pension, Fuel, Maintenance and the above-mentioned 5 % Administrative expense which applies to all of the other expenses, bringing our actual costs closer to 98.8%. Prior to The Woodlands entering into this agreement, The Woodlands area had 26 county-funded deputies patrolling The Woodlands. I’m not sure how we agreed to reduce the county’s funding obligations down to 6 peace officers. Since the first agreement The Woodlands has grown in population and in the Tax Base our residents provide to the county. Our county-allocated Sheriff’s funding has not grown and I have asked that we begin the process to renegotiate this contract. I agree the current level of force is appropriate, but my issue is to get the county to appropriate funds commensurate with what is provided to the balance of the county – either based on our percentage of the total county population, population density, or tax base. Any one of these calculations will require the county to fund more than the 6 currently being funded. The counties other districts have an average of 30 county-funded deputies. The Woodlands Township has more than 100,000 of the county’s 470,000 residents, or almost 22% of the county population. And yet, The Woodlands Township represents over 40% of Montgomery County’s Property Tax revenues.
|The Woodlands Population (2012)|
|• Density||2,300/sq. mi (890/km²)|
|The Woodlands Area|
|• Total||43.9 sq. mi (113.6 km²)|
|• Land||43.3 sq. mi (112.1 km²)|
|Montgomery County Area|
|• Total||1,077 sq. mi (2,789 km²)||• Land||1,044 sq. mi (2,704 km²)|
|• Water||33 sq. mi (85 km²)|
|Montgomery County Population|
|• Density||422/sq. mi (163/km²)|
I want to be clear that I truly appreciate the Sheriff’s Department and my only issue is advocating to be sure The Woodlands residents do not get taxed twice for the same service. The Township should only pay for the level of service above the normal levels provided throughout the rest of the county.
According to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s website: (http://www.mocosheriff.com), District 6 serves The Woodlands Township. District 6 has 89.5 assigned positions, which include a division administrator holding the rank of captain, one district commander holding the rank of lieutenant, five senior sergeants, one traffic senior sergeant, six patrol sergeants, one special assignments sergeant, one detective, 67 patrol deputies, two traffic division deputies, one K9 deputy, two civilian detention officers, one administrative assistant and one warrant clerk (part-time). Within the patrol division specialized units include a traffic division, crime prevention unit as well as foot and bike patrol. District 6 also is served by a K-9 team specially trained in narcotics scent detection.
Funding for the 83.5 personnel and equipment is provided through a contract for services between Montgomery County and The Woodlands Township. Additional funding resources are provided through Montgomery County, providing for six patrol units. The Woodlands Township is a local governmental agency whose mission is to promote, develop, encourage and maintain economic development for the public benefit of The Woodlands Township and its 28,000 acres of residential and commercial areas.
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