Pinellas Sheriff spending cuts below Commission target
Pinellas County Sheriff Jim Coats has sent the County Commission a budget with $20.1 million in cuts for 2011.
That's about $9.6 million less than the target the board imposed on him this year.
Coats' proposal includes eliminating 178 jobs, and shutting down jail space as already begun. All told, the sheriff's office would spend $220.1 million.
The news that Coats came in below the county administration's goal isn't unexpected. There were signals this spring to that effect. Coats argument Monday: Actually balancing the budget only requires $20 million, which his plan accomplishes. The other money would go toward a fund to cushion the county for any cuts needed in 2012.
County budget officials calculated a $40 million deficit for next year and another $40 million in 2012.