To the Editor:
A famous politician involved in a national debate once said after preposterous allegations were leveled at him, "Well, here we go again!" Mr. Jergens is once again pushing information portrayed as the truth, when he really doesn't know what he is talking about.
His latest ad stated, Fact: I have hired 5 additional people since being elected Sheriff. I have no clue where he obtained this information but here are the Facts: When Mr. Jergens left the Sheriff's Office almost 8 years ago, there were 15 full time employees. As I speak to you today there are still 15 full time employees. I'm assuming he is speaking about our part time employees who fill in on time off for the full time people. These hours are not anything extra, but fill out all the hours in a week not covered by full time people. These part time employees work for an hourly wage but get no benefits.
Mr. Jergens' next Fact I have purchased 13 patrol cars, 9 of which were purchased out of County at a cost of over $300,000. Here are the Facts: I have purchased 12 vehicles in the past 8 years. Seven (7) of those vehicles were purchased out of County at a cost of $135,000. Five (5) of those vehicles were purchased in Palo Alto County at a cost of $115,000. All of these vehicles were purchased at State Bid prices saving the taxpayer over $85,000. As a side note, Mr. Jergens has obviously forgotten about his vehicle purchases out of County while he was Sheriff.
Mr. Jergens' next Fact: I have spent $7,000 on a single red light for a patrol car. That one really amazed me so I checked the line items on my last budget. Fact: I purchased equipment for two (2) new patrol cars. These included emergency light equipment, outside speaker systems, arrow controllers, front end protectors, etc. for a total of $6897.This is all equipment necessary to keep the Deputy and you safe when an emergency arises.
Mr. Jergens' next Fact: I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on bullet proof glass and an automated phone system to bar the public. The Facts: Anyone who wants to come into the Sheriff's Office for a cup of coffee is perfectly welcome. The world has changed and anyone who reads the paper knows what I am talking about. I invite you to speak to any employee in the Court House and ask how many distress calls are made to the Sheriff's Dept. from their offices. The Sheriff's Civil Department brings in a lot of money during the course of a day. As you might imagine we also deal with a lot of violence. On most days the secretary is in the office by herself, and really does need an assurance of safety. By the way, the glass, phone system, and other updates were done with a casino grant at no cost to the taxpayer.
Mr. Jergens last fact I will answer. Fact: He will reduce the budget by $200,000. The budget this year is $1,377,500 including the Sheriffs Office, Communications, and Jail. Wages and benefits for these employees is $1,112,487. Ladies and gentlemen, that is 81% of the budget. That leaves $265,000 to operate for the year. Mr. Jergens cuts the budget by $200,000, and now we have $65,000 to operate an Emergency Operations Center for a year. Fuel for our patrol cars and telephone alone add up to $50,000 a year. This is more than FUZZY MATH in my opinion. You be the judge of the numbers.
I can't keep answering all of these ridiculous accusations. As Sheriff of Palo Alto County I have done the best job I can. You have given me your trust. I will forever appreciate that fact, and I want you to know I have acted responsibly representing Palo Alto County.
(signed) Dennis J. Goeders
Sheriff, Palo Alto County