YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino this morning proposed a $59.9 million budget to the county freeholders featuring what he called “unprecedented cuts” totaling more than a quarter-million dollars less than what county Executive Kathleen Donovan proposed for his office.
The overall $59,895,336 plan is also down $281,000 over last year’s actual budget for his office.
Saudino called his blueprint “the product of sound analysis.”
“As we have every year, we laid it all out on the table,” he said. “I asked my budget committee to get creative and identify areas that could be trimmed or cut without jeopardizing officer and public safety.
“For the third year in a row we have proposed a plan that makes good on promises I made during the campaign – to offer necessary services at the absolute minimum taxpayer expense,” the sheriff added.
“We went as far as we could go without jeopardizing public safety, which is something I have made clear that I will never do.”
Saudino, who is on his third budget as sheriff, said he has cut more than 11,000 hours of overtime the past two years.
Posts at the Bergen County Jail have been consolidated, among other measures, he said.
“We were able to work with the Board of Chosen Freeholders to identify an additional $31,000 in cuts that could be made,” Saudino said. “This was done in a bipartisan way and I am proud of that.
“As I hope we have shown, that does not mean we feel that the job is done,” the sheriff added. “If we identify areas in the future that can be trimmed or are duplicative of services already provided – the taxpayers have my word that they will be cut.
“Unnecessary spending or duplication of services is a waste of taxpayer money and I will not stand for it.”