Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando sheriff says budget increase needed to keep pace with growth

Sheriff Al Nienhuis said employee retention is a top priority.

Sheriff Al Nienhuis said employee retention is a top priority.

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis is asking for a $1.7 million increase for his 2014-15 budget — an amount he says is necessary to keep pace with public safety concerns in a community that has begun to take a positive turn economically.

In his budget request submitted to the County Commission on Friday, Nienhuis asks for eight new positions and for the return of unspent dollars from the current fiscal year so he can continue to phase in pay raises. He started that process this year to make up for pay structure inequities that resulted from several years of frozen salaries.

To retain and recruit staff, the budget also includes a 2 percent cost-of-living increase for personnel below the rank of lieutenant.

Nienhuis said employee retention is of the utmost importance.

"When I have somebody who has a few years of experience, it's very important to me to keep those people," he said. "A four-year deputy is much more valuable to the citizens than a brand-new deputy."

Figuring that the county, as it has in the past, will return to him unspent funds from this year, Nienhuis said his budget request represents only a 2 percent increase over this year. In real dollars, the sheriff is seeking $42,760,940 from the county — a 4 percent increase over the request for 2013-14.

"I think the amount of dollars I'm looking for from the general fund is pretty small," he said. The new positions that the sheriff proposes to add include: one animal services officer, to allow expanded services on the weekend; two school resource officers, who will largely be paid for by the School Board; two dispatchers, positions cut from his budget in recent years; two detention deputies to begin to staff the new juvenile area at the jail, and a network support technician.

Cost cutting has continued in the current fiscal year, he said, including the sale of a NOTAR helicopter. Now all aircraft in the aviation unit are surplus military aircraft that come with lower operating and training costs.

Nienhuis also notes that jail inmates provided 147,000 hours on county projects during the past year, a value of $1.5 million.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at or (352) 848-1434. Danny Valentine can be reached at or (352) 848-1432.

Hernando sheriff says budget increase needed to keep pace with growth 05/30/14 [Last modified: Friday, May 30, 2014 9:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem


    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]
  2. New earthquake, magnitude 6.1, shakes jittery Mexico


    MEXICO CITY — A strong new earthquake shook Mexico on Saturday, causing new alarm in a country reeling from two still-more-powerful quakes this month that have killed nearly 400 people.

    Locals play pool at a venue in Mexico City's La Condesa neighborhood, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, four days after the 7.1 earthquake. The upscale Mexico City neighborhood was one of the hardest hit, with more than a half-dozen collapsed buildings in the immediate vicinity. The few Condesa residents who ventured out Friday night said they were anxious for relief from an anguishing week. [Associated Press]
  3. Tests show North Korea earthquake not caused by nuclear test


    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's weather agency said a magnitude 3.2 earthquake was detected in North Korea on Saturday close to where the country recently conducted a nuclear test, but it assessed the quake as natural.

    People watch a TV news program reporting North Korea's earthquake, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. South Korea's weather agency said an earthquake was detected in North Korea on Saturday around where the country recently conducted a nuclear test, but it assessed the quake as natural. The signs read " The weather agency said a magnitude 3.0 earthquake was detected in North Korea." [Associated Press]
  4. Forecast: Tampa Bay's first fall weekend brings scattered showers


    It may officially be fall, but Tampa Bay won't have any cooler temperatures this weekend.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  5. Romano: The choice does not have to be poverty or gentrification

    Local Government

    The memories must be protected. The music and the lore, too.

    The owner of Sylvia's Queen of Soul Food is refusing to give the city information on the restaurant's sales as required by his contract to occupy the city-owned Manhattan Casino. The information is needed to calculate whether the nonprofit Urban Development Solutions, headed by Larry Newsome, owes the city more than the $3,000 monthly base rent.