Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sheriff Helder Admits Costly Mistake

Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder has now been forced to ask the county Personnel Committee for four more deputies to replace those he transfered to the department’s 287(g) program to do the work of the inadequate U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Quorum Court previously set aside $140, 000 in the 2008 budget to cover these personnel expenses. Looks now that it will cost more.

Sheriff Helder and the Washington County Quorum Court should mind their own business and let the federal government do its job. Just because the Bush Administration has failed to secure our borders, as it has flunked every other task, foreign and domestic, does not mean that immigration enforcement should be the first responsibility of our local taxpayers.

Washington County should first spend money to repair our roads and the four unsafe bridges that present an immediate threat to the lives and safety of our citizens. If there is money left over after that, and the massive expansion of the county jail that Sheriff Helder also wants and the new Courts building that Judge Hunton says we need, then they can consider taking up the slack and doing the jobs of the inept federal government.

It is a matter of priorities, unless the tax-and-spend Quorum Court plans to raise our taxes by millions to pay for it all.

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