Thurston County Commissioners opened a series of public hearings Monday on the county’s proposed nearly $330 million “maintenance level” budget for 2016.
About $93.1 million of the budget is the county’s general fund, which is directly overseen by the commissioners.
The first hearing covered the law and justice budget, and included short overviews and comment on budgets for the Thurston County clerk; superior, juvenile and district courts; prosecuting attorney; sheriff; and assigned counsel.
However, just two people gave testimony during the hearings. One was Jon Pettit, a Rich Road area resident who frequently comments on Thurston County Commission business.
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He said he would like the commission to fund more of the requests by the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office.
“As far as I’m concerned, we have enough money,” Pettit told the commissioners. “We just need to prioritize it right.”
Sheriff John Snaza said he is unhappy with the budget process, the hearing process and the amount of funding that’s been proposed for his office in 2016.
“What I hated about it was that it was too simplistic, and it really didn’t detail what the Sheriff’s Office really looks like, or what it reflects,” Snaza said. “…I am not happy about the budget for public safety. They’re just giving me money that they took away in 2013.”
Have your say
The Thurston County Commission is holding public hearings to take comment on the proposed 2016 budget. The hearings — which will be in Room 280 of the Thurston County Courthouse Building 1, 2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW, Olympia — are organized by topic, and elected officials and department heads will be available to answer questions.
Here are the remaining hearings:
6 p.m. Monday: Public hearing will be open to any budget topic.
1:30 p.m. Tuesday: Transportation, environment and land use budget hearing with representatives of the resource stewardship and public works departments.
4 p.m. Tuesday: Health and human services budget hearing will highlight the coroner, public health and social services, and emergency services representatives.
6 p.m. Tuesday: Public hearing will be open to any budget topic.
To view a copy of the proposed budget, go to co.thurston.wa.us/bocc/budget.