Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco sheriff requesting funds for pay raises

DADE CITY — Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco found a mostly receptive County Commission on Tuesday when he presented his plans to boost spending by 6 percent next year.

Much of the $5.9 million increase Nocco is seeking in his overall proposed spending plan of $96 million would go toward pay raises, he said.

Scores of deputies have resigned or retired in recent months, many joining departments in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, Nocco said. Boosting salaries by $2.6 million could stem the exodus, he said.

He intends to give his employees a 1 percent raise for each year of service with all raises capped at 5 percent. He also requested $333,460 for overtime pay.

"These are stellar people," Nocco told commissioners at a budget workshop. "It's heartbreaking when you are constantly getting people who are leaving."

The agency had capped wages for five years, though it did allow a 3 percent increase last year. It also tightened overtime pay, offering deputies "flex time" for extra hours on the job.

Nocco said many in the 1,500-member sheriff's office are awaiting results of the budget negotiations before deciding whether to stay in Pasco. Reports show 27 staffers, most of them deputies, resigned or retired in May and the first two weeks of June, many citing better financial opportunities as among reasons for leaving.

Deputy Eric Blomgren, a SWAT sniper, said more pay was the main reason he left.

"I am solely leaving due to pay," he wrote in a May 16 resignation letter. "I will certainly miss working here, but I feel this step is necessary to provide my family with the best possible quality of life."

Another deputy, Eric Anfuso, wrote: I find it unfortunate that the only way to keep up with the times is to abandon the career I love just so I can pay the bills." Anfuso said he was taking a job overseas with a private security company.

County commissioners pledged to support the department.

"We have no hidden money. We don't have extra money. We are all scraping by . . . and we have to invest in ourselves a little bit more," Commissioner Kathryn Starkey said, eliciting applause from the 80 or so deputies present at Nocco's budget presentation.

Nocco's talk came after other department heads also requested spending increases, arguing they've operated on shoe-string budgets since the recession.

Zoning Administrator Carol Clarke said her office is struggling with staff levels that go back seven years. She proposed hiring a development review technician and two permitting technicians.

The code enforcement office requested four additional code enforcement officers that would help the department partner with sheriff's deputies to tackle dilapidated houses in crime-ridden neighborhoods.

Not every department head had a chance to address commissioners, though. Another budget workshop is set for July 1. The new fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

Rich Shopes can be reached at rshopes@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6236.

Pasco sheriff requesting funds for pay raises 06/17/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 9:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote

    Blogs

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  4. Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to

    Business

    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie The Shining, where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.

    Teens Ben Testa, from left, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough, and Wegmeyer Farms owner Tyler Wegmeyer walk the strawberry rows at the Hamilton, Va., farm in late May.
  5. Jeb Bush back in the hunt for the Marlins, now opposing Derek Jeter

    Blogs

    Associated Press:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.