Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr has asked to appear before Columbus Council on Tuesday evening to discuss his office, according the council’s published agenda.
Darr requested to be put on the Public Agenda, which limits speakers to 10 minutes, as opposed to the Mayor’s Agenda, which has no such limits and where elected officials usually appear before Council.
Darr said he only plans to “make a few comments,” and he declined to elaborate on the topic, other than that it has to do with his office. As for appearing on the Public Agenda, he said he thought it was appropriate because his remarks will be “aimed at the public.”
Council meets Tuesday at 5:30 in its chambers at the City Services Center off Macon Road.
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Council is currently also meeting as the Budget Review Committee, preparing the fiscal 2016 city budget.
Mayor Teresa Tomlinson’s proposed fiscal 2016 budget would, if approved, reduce the sheriff’s offices budget from last year’s $27.65 million to $26.97 million, a reduction of about 2.5 percent.
The budget also calls for reducing the number of pursuit vehicles and take-home vehicles provided for each department. The sheriff’s office currently has 61 pursuit vehicles and 55 take-home vehicles. The budget recommends reducing those numbers to 26 pursuit and 26 take-home vehicles.
The proposal would eliminate eight positions from the Sheriff’s Office’s investigations department and transfer those positions to the Columbus Police Department.
Similarly, the proposed budget would eliminate six positions from the Muscogee County Marshal’s Office and transfer them to the police department. The Marshal’s Office’s budget would be cut from $1.58 million to $1.23 million, a 22 percent reduction.
Marshal Greg Countryman was scheduled to appear Tuesday before the Budget Review Committee, but his appearance was cancelled.
Darr and Countryman are among four elected officials who are currently suing the Consolidated Government because they claim the city does not sufficiently fund their departments. The other two are Superior Court Clerk Linda Pierce and Municipal Court Clerk Vivian Creighton Bishop.