[Ed. – Priorities scrambled.]
Kentucky Sheriff John Kirk of Martin County was forced to at least temporarily stop law enforcement services due to lack of funds. But he left instructions to his county residents:
“Folks, lock your door, load your guns, get you a barking, biting dog.”
The problem stems from the loss of coal revenue that is normally shared with local governments. A promised payment from the fiscal court did not arrive. The sheriff said that they’ve had to use borrowed tires (even plugged ones) on their vehicles, and other faulty equipment. Several other Kentucky counties are hurting from lack of funding as well.
The Herald-Leader reported a fiscal court meeting on Feb 8,
Kirk paced back and forth, complaining he had not yet received a $75,000 payment from the fiscal court that should have been delivered in January. In addition, Kirk said his office is now required to pay for its own workers’ compensation insurance, retirement, and social security benefits. Those obligations, along with unemployment insurance and fringe benefits, add an additional $99,000 to his annual expenditures.