Monday, February 04, 2008

A Pay Cut For Sheriffs

The days of the Marion County Sheriff earning as much as the president of the United States is about to come to an end under legislation making its way through the legislature. Under State Rep. Larry Buell's HB 1108, the sheriff's pay in all Indiana counties will be the same as the county prosecutor's pay. The Star's Brendan O'Shaughnessy explains why Buell is pushing the legislation:

A couple of years ago, we found out that county sheriffs were getting a total compensation package many of us found unreasonable," Buell said.

The pay issue drew Buell's attention after The Indianapolis Star two years ago revealed that, in 2005, Marion County Sheriff Frank Anderson made nearly $268,000 from fees on tax collections on top of his salary of about $100,000.

That total approaches the salary of the president of the United States. At the time, it was also more than what Gov. Mitch Daniels, then-Mayor Bart Peterson, Police Chief Michael Spears and the average Hoosier earned combined.

Responding to negative public reaction, Anderson returned a separate $50,000 salary increase. In 2006, Anderson's tax collection fee earnings dropped to $175,414.

This is a change that is long over due. The taxpayers owe Buell a debt of gratitude for pushing this legislative idea along. Let's hope it doesn't get lost in the wild coming weeks remaining in this legislative session.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's about time.

Anonymous said...

Are the guys in this Sun Times story related to the Sheriff?

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/775099,CST-NWS-dispatch04.article

Wilson46201 said...

Republican Larry Buell has been in the Legislature since the days of Corydon as the State capital -- for him to "suddenly" discover the high pay of the elected Sheriff is disingenuous. Former Republican Sheriff Jack Cottey was a longtime constituent and cohort of Buell's -- Cottey raked in the big bucks too just like his predecessor Republican Sheriff Joe McAnee -- their high pay was well known too.

Now that Larry Buell is on his way out of the General Assembly, he finally decides to address the Sheriff's pay issue? Hmmm....

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget to mention that Frank Anderson is an idiot!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Wilson...Do you think Anderson, or any other Sheriff for that matter, deserves 250k a year for that position? For your response, please answer the question directly and avoid any references to political parties or George Bush. Thank you.

Advance Indiana said...

Point well taken, Wilson, but better late than never.

varangianguard said...

That's it! Now, who's going to run for Sheriff if they can't use tax monies to build their personal fortunes at a time when counties are having a difficult time funding their budgets?

Well, for one, not I. No, no. Please. No thanks are necessary.

There is Castle Cottey, Castle MacAtee and Castle Anderson. Lords of the Manor and all. But, there's little chance for Castle Varangianguard now.

Vox Populi said...

It's about time. It's not Anderson's fault by any measure. I can't wait until they get rid of township government, including constables who also make a killing.

Wilson46201 said...

Township Constables have to pay their own employees out of their income. Of course, no tax dollars are used for the Constables: they are paid strictly from court user fees. Those fees are set by the Legislature. Law-abiding citizens are not affected one whit by Constable costs...

Anonymous said...

The bill's author, Rep. Lawrence Buell, R-Indianapolis, said the legislation has found support this year because he made some changes after it failed last year.

Mainly, he exempted current sheriffs from the cap so that it would only affect those elected after November 2010.

The bill would redirect any compensation beyond the level of the prosecutor to counties, where the money would pay for sheriff's department pensions or other public safety costs.

Please note all this money still goes to the Sheriff, however, it is now put in his pension fund instead of salary.

Unclear if it even includes all revenue sources like jail commissary, towing fees, bail bond fees, parking and speeding ticket fees, etc....

Is this really changing anything???

Anonymous said...

Who do you think got the $1 million in cash found hidden in former Indiana Teamster boss John Neal's Muncie home and the other millions confiscated after he got busted for running illegal gambling machines in 25 area bars and taverns?

John Neal Busted Again on Serious Illegal Gambling Charges

http://www.casinogamblingweb.com/gambling-news/gambling-law/john_neal_busted_again_on_serious_illegal_gambling_charges_9511.html

Anonymous said...

It's a bird, it's a plane, no its the Internets Newest super hero, policing cyberspace for the good of the community. It's Wilson "Underdog" Allen.

Wilson46201 said...

Duncan pays for any vehicles out of his own pay -- no tax dollars involved. The "office space" is one small desk in the basement of the City-County Building in the cramped Small Claims Court. The rent there is paid for entirely by court fees: no taxpayer money whatsoever is used. As a matter of fact, the Small Claims Court produces a small surplus which is used to reduce your property taxes!

Anonymous said...

Here's the fallacy in your "fees only" argument, Wilson:

Their salaries and benefits are run through the county government. And their office space, county-wide, is inside the township courts. There is a fixed built-in cost to all of us. I wouldn't expect a career public servant to understand that.

The Cottey/McAtee, et al Argument, is correct. That does not make it right. And before you and Amos get all twisted out of shape: this is not just because Frank is black. It's wrong regardless of color.

And, any mention of Frank Anderson being an idiot is out of place. Unless you also include the fact that Buell has basically taken up legislative space for over 25 years. He isn't attending and Mensa meetings.

But can we just lose all the "idiot" calling? It's unnecessary.

Wilson46201 said...

The fees from Small Claims Courts go only through the Township system: no County accounting facilities whatsoever are involved. Center is anomalous in that it does pay rent to the County for its cramped basement courtroom space unlike other Small Claims Courts that pay rent to their respective Townships.

I do understand the Township finance system rather well: I did the annual budgets for Center for a number of years.

Anonymous said...

It's about time that sheriff pay was brought up to date...along with the elimination of Township government in Indiana.

Both are outdated and date back to the 1800's.

varangianguard said...

Not a personal observation in any way, Wilson, but "doing" financials and "understanding" financials in no way necessitates any kind of interdependent relationship between the two. There "may" be a relationship, but there doesn't "have to be" a relationship between the two. Just a point of clarification.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Wilson, Tony Duncan is a thug. He intimidated volunteers for Eric Dickerson in the Nov'06 election and threw their materials in a dumpster. He and Sheriff Anderson are on their way out. The people of Indy want the 'ghetto mafia' to go away. You are doing a disservice to this community(particularly, the black population in this community) by propping up these guys. Knowing who your hero was, I know you have low expectations of your public officials. This city, hopefully, is waking up and demanding more.

Wilson46201 said...

yeah -- it got Ballard !

Big whoop...

Anonymous said...

"Vox Populi said...
...I can't wait until they get rid of township government, including constables who also make a killing."

Oh Vox, we may have to wait. The legislators sounds like they are back-pedaling! Maybe they all should listen to this: We voted DOGS out of their office before, we will do it again.

tjefferson said...

Wilson 46201 wrote:
"I do understand the Township finance system rather well: I did the annual budgets for Center for a number of years."

For once he's not exaggerating. If anyone understands how bloated, corrupt, inefficient government processes work, it's Wilson.

Wilson46201 said...

Yeah ... Center Township which lowered property taxes every year under Trustee Carl Drummer (except for 2003)... Center Township taxes are less than 1.47% of the total tax bill.

Anonymous said...

1.47% is 2% more than he's worth, Wilson. And it's still millions of dollars.

Typical bureucratic answer. You ever make a private sector payroll on your own, guy?

Anonymous said...

Why in the world would former city councilor Jim Bradford be interested in becoming Executive Director of Animal Care and Control? Are time that bad in Broad Ripple?

Anonymous said...

Frank Anderson is a wonderful guy and he himself has said so many times.