I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
LET Funding: Process for Disbursement of Funds to be Discussed at Tomorrow's Meeting
After doing a significant amount of reading over the weekend, in light of this very embarrassing article which popped up online on Saturday morning and was in the print edition of the PNJ on Sunday--I feel the BCC needs to discuss the Law Enforcement Trust Fund (LET) process.
I say the article was embarrassing because it was. For the BCC's part, I believe we can do a better job at being more involved in the process, because at the end of the day-although only the Sheriff can recommend allocations from this fund-- we are the approval authority for the expenditure of these funds.
Under the current process we are utilizing--we simply reimburse the ECSO out of the LET fund for checks that have already, in some cases, been written and cashed out of the ECSO general fund.
But what if the expenditure is questionable? What if the BCC does not believe that a particular expenditure (out of the dozens and dozens made yearly) is appropriate under the statute? Under our current system, we have no control, no check and balance function, and no recourse. The statute is clear, the BCC must take a more active role in the process, and AGO Opinions are clear that the BCC has the final say in whether or not an expenditure should be authorized.
A letter from the SAO last year described some overall areas of the process that could use refinement as well, and I have heard from numerous constituents that want a greater role for the BCC in this process. So I am listening and I will discuss this with the full board tomorrow morning.