Tuesday morning’s Antelope County Supervisors meeting became heated several times today.
Among items of contingency were suggestions of pulling the sheriff and extension budgets from the overall budget adoption process and the law enforcement center that was approved 2 1/2 years ago.
The discussion began with the sheriff's budget and continued later in the meeting when Sheriff Bob Moore said he was being personally attacked. At one point an audience member said the jail, which was approved in 2013, should be "shut down."
Supervisor Greg Koinzan expressed concern over the sheriff department's budget. Moore told Koinzan that the hearing had already taken place and his questions should have been brought up at that time. The budget hearing was Aug. 11.
“Why didn’t you have these questions at my budget hearing?” Moore asked.
Koinzan said, “I did have those questions, and I do have more." Koinzan did not specify as to why he did not ask his questions during the hearing on the sheriff's budget. He asked Moore if he would consider a second hearing.
Moore said that was up to the chairman of the board. Board chairman Jerry Schwager said, "We already went through the budget and looked at them all."
Koinzan also requested changing how the supervisors adopt the 2015-16 county budget. Koinzan said he wanted a separate vote on the sheriff's budget and extension budget before approving the entire budget.
Schwager disagreed and said, "We can't pick you (sheriff's office) out and pick the extension office out. We would have to look at them all - everyone of them - and we went through all of them last week."
Moore said, "We were asked to submit a budget, and everyone of us submitted it to (County Clerk) Lisa (Payne). It's there. It's public information. Mr. Koinzan can go through it. If he had a question, they were submitted. Lisa, did you give them packets with the budgets or not?"
Payne said they were provided to supervisors.
After a lengthy discussion, all budget items were tabled until the Sept. 8 meeting. Schwager said that meeting would not be a budget hearing.
A member of the audience, who submitted an item for the agenda, requested to have a monthly profit and loss statement from the sheriff. Supervisors said that statement is already submitted monthly to the county clerk and is public record.
When asked if he needed to provide more information to the supervisors, Schwager said, "You already submit it."
Moore also told the supervisors he felt like he is being attacked because some people in the county want him to step down from his office.
"This is pretty much the attack of me being sheriff," he said. "I try to do a good job. We had a (jail) committee. We went through the process."
He said everyone wants to focus on the jail "but there's so much more going on there," referring to the 911 system that needed to be upgraded.
A question was raised about inmate numbers and why the jail wasn't holding prisoners from Lincoln. Moore said $880,000 was taken out of the budget for the jail that would have been used for those beds, "and we needed those 20 beds to house the Lincoln prisoners if we wanted to do that out here in Northeast Nebraska."
Moore asked the supervisor what he's done wrong that he needs to be audited more when "the board needs to implement this checks and balance on me."