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Cumberland County Commissioners May Have To Make Cuts In Public Safety For School Funding

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FAYETTEVILLE — Cumberland County commissioners say if they are going to increaseschool fundingin their budget, they will have to make cuts in other areas that could compromise public safety.

In an effort to keep taxes down, commissioners say they will have to cut money from local departments including the library system and the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Moose Butler says he is in favor of a tax increase because he says he simply cannot afford to make any more cuts.

"When you start talking about cuts in budget, we're looking at personnel in the sheriff's office and that starts cutting back on services to the people in this county," says Butler. "That bothers me a great deal."

Residents like John Clark say the commissioners have a responsibility to help the sheriff.

"Sheriff Butler has a responsibility, and the commissioners have a responsibility to give him the tools he needs to carry out the mandate the people gave him," says shopper John Clark.

County manager Cliff Strassenberg says the cuts may trickle down to customer service.

"It's possible the public will see some reductions in the level of service in county agencies," Strassenberg says.

County commissioners decided to hold off on passing the budget Tuesday night because they are waiting for their fellow commissioner Tom Bacote to come home from the hospital. They will meet again June 19 at 5:30 p.m.


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