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Letter to the Editor: Babeu and His Budget-Busting Request

Pinal County’s budget ink has hardly dried and not surprisingly a budget-busting request has been tossed onto the lap of the Board of Supervisors with a July 20 letter from the Sheriff’s office.

Two weeks after adoption of the county’s budget, the taxpayer-financed candidate for Congress, Paul Babeu, returned from his busy campaign travels and discovered that “there is a new threat environment faced by our law enforcement officers and to (sic) the citizens.”

Law enforcement officers know that despicable threats to law enforcement have always been present. And those threats were present before the current Sheriff’s Office budget was prepared.

What we are once more witnessing is the irresponsible lack of budget planning by an inattentive Sheriff Babeu preoccupied by his quest for more power and more self-aggrandizement.

His extensive political travels outside Pinal County apparently diverted the sometime-Sheriff’s attention from preparing a well-planned PCSO budget to include what he now describes as urgently important training and equipment.

Not surprisingly, the preoccupied congressional candidate’s lack of budget planning suddenly morphed into an “Emergency Budget Request”. One more campaign gimmick designed to illustrate feigned concern for his officers and a budget problem to be solved by others at the expense of county agencies that responsibly planned their respective budgets.

The Board of Supervisors should insist that Paul Babeu and his place-holder Deputy Sheriff take a break from campaigning. Insist that they go back to the drawing board and re-allocate training and equipment funding from the taxpayer resources already provided in the recently approved budget.

Paul Babeu’s lack of planning should not now become the Board of Supervisors’ emergency. Stop Babeu’s irresponsible dipping into other county agencies’ budgets and the taxpayers’ pocket.

Remarks at Board of Supervisors meeting, August 11, 2016

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