Budget passed; amendment to give 820 KCSO deputies a $1,500 bonus after county commission vote

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Knox County Commission voted to amend the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 budget proposal by $1 million to give 820 Knox County Sheriff’s Office deputies a $1,500 bonus that will be paid out in early December.

The county commission passed the $851 million budget Wednesday night.

This increase is said to be offset by drawing out of the unassigned fund balance, according to the Knox County Mayor’s office.

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs released a statement Wednesday night in response to the amendment:

“Hopefully we will have the money to fund this change. I have no plans to veto it.

It wasn’t a secret the budget we presented was an ugly one. There was a lot we wanted to do that we just couldn’t.

I too am frustrated that a lot of important projects had to be set aside. I’m frustrated that we can’t provide raises to our teachers and every single county employee who has been making personal sacrifices throughout this pandemic.

Raising taxes would certainly be a way to alleviate those frustrations, but I said that I wouldn’t do that, and I won’t. It isn’t the time to ask taxpayers—many of whom are struggling themselves—to give the government more money.

We were clear that our proposal was, and still is, a working document. I am hopeful that we can continue having productive conversations and, if conditions improve, find the funds to give all our employees raises, but also make sure we are completing projects that benefit our taxpayers.

It is our responsibility to conservatively utilize taxpayer dollars while still providing the service our community has come to expect. I am just not comfortable with making promises now on an uncertain future.”

KCSO Sheriff Tom Spangler also said Wednesday night he is pleased with the vote, he’s very thankful for commission and wants to make it clear that he respects each of our commissioners and the tough job their tasked with. 

Spangler going on to say he appreciates the mayor trying to meet him half way but he felt strongly that the men and women on the front lines needed and deserved the full $1,500. He said he has been a good steward of the salary surplus he had and was hopeful that would more than pay for their bonus and that he’s thankful for the dedication the men and women of this agency provide the citizens everyday.

As of June 24, there have not been any other changes made to the proposed budget.

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