MODESTO — Stanislaus County leaders will consider offering pay incentives to keep deputies from leaving the Sheriffs Department to work for higher-paying agencies. Since January 2012, 17 deputies have left the department.
Supervisor Terry Withrow declared at the end of Tuesdays budget deliberation that the county needs a plan to shore up the law enforcement ranks. Sheriff Adam Christianson said a meeting is set next week with Interim Chief Executive Officer Stan Risen to discuss a possible solution.
Christianson suggested targeted raises to reward deputies for longevity. The incentive pay could be given to deputies who stay with the department for 10 years, he said. No figures were proposed at Tuesdays meeting.
The sheriff said deputies have not received a raise since 2005, and they took the same 6 percent salary cut as other county employees during the economic slump. Deputies are taking jobs with police agencies that offer better salary and benefit packages, making it impossible to staff a unit that was supposed to concentrate on gangs.
In the coming months, the county will begin contract negotiations with other employee groups that accepted pay concessions in recent years.
On Tuesday, supervisors approved a revised final budget for the fiscal year that began in July. The spending plan will add 13 employees combined with 10 additional staff positions that were funded since June. The county has received an influx of federal revenue because of the federal health care overhaul.
On a 5-0 vote, the board approved an agreement that allows Central Valley Recycling to continue a scrap-metal operation at 524 S. Ninth St. while applying for a permit to legalize the business. Its expected to take more than six months for the business to finish studies and submit plans for the use permit, which will place conditions on the business so it coexists with a residential area to the east.
Neighbors have complained that Central Valleys auto-dismantling operation creates noise and dust. County officials refused to renew a business license for Central Valley last year after verifying the complaints.
Supervisor Jim DeMartini said the county should apply the same development standards to the business as it would to protect an affluent or middle-class neighborhood. The county should not expect less because the recycling business is next to a low-income or largely Latino neighborhood, the supervisor said.
Attorney Thomas Terpstra, representing Central Valley, said the business will meet the countys requirements and comply with terms of the agreement. The deal limits the scrap metal recycling to three hours a day during the application process.
Supervisor Dick Monteith said he received information from an investigator, apparently hired by Central Valley, who talked with nearby residents and found the majority had no complaints about the business.
Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2321.