JCSO files appeal to Governor’s Office after being denied requested funding from County Commission

Published: Oct. 28, 2022 at 8:18 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Jackson County Sheriff Donnie Edenfield filed an appeal to the Governor’s Office after he was denied a chunk of his proposed budget.

“I’ve always said a reactive sheriff’s office is down here, and to be proactive, it’s a little bit higher,” Edenfield said. “The citizens of Jackson County deserve a proactive Sheriff’s Office.”

The Board of County Commissioners denied nearly $280,000 in funding from his proposed budget for car fuel and vehicle maintenance in September.

The final budget is also nearly $145,000 less than last year’s.

“I wouldn’t want to think that fuel to respond to calls and vehicle maintenance to keep vehicles ready for the road would be a wish list,” Edenfield said.

He also said he’s concerned about the rising cost of gas along with vehicle wear and tear.

“Last year, we had to go back to the commission to ask for more fuel money and the cost of repairs and maintenance for the upkeep on vehicles,” Edenfield said. “We added that to our budget request and it basically wasn’t approved.”

He’s now taking the issue to the State.

“Tuesday, we hand-delivered our appeal to the Governor’s Office in Tallahassee,” Edenfield said.

However, Jackson County Commissioner Jim Peacock said there’s important reasoning behind his decision to deny the funding.

“We had to balance the budget,” Peacock said. “As Constitutional Officers in the State of Florida, we are required to balance the budget.”

The Commissioner said the Board has to consider a number of factors when looking at the budget.

“We’ve got to provide for good roads,” Peacock said. “There are a lot of other factors that go into the Jackson County budget other than law enforcement.”

Peacock also gave insight into the Sheriff’s appeal to the Governor’s Office.

“My position is he’s filed an appeal,” Peacock said. “Let it go where it needs to go. If we have to go to Tallahassee to defend it, so be it.”

The Board of County Commissioners was handed the appeal on Tuesday.

They were given five days to respond.

The two parties said they hope to come to an agreement without having to go to a budget hearing.