Cochise Supervisors approve funds for elections, school safety and sheriff officers’ overtime

The Cochise County Board of Supervisors approved a transfer of $40,000 to the elections office at its regular meeting Tuesday.

County Commissioner Richard Karwatka said the money is meant to help the department pay salaries to its employees through the end of the current fiscal year.

“Right now, the manpower line is in the red,” Karvatska said on Tuesday. “So with this additional money they will be able to get their full return and pay their personnel through the end of this fiscal year.”

The county fiscal year ends on June 30th. The new fiscal year begins on July 1st.

District 1 Superintendent Tom Crosby read an email purported to be from Cochise County Registrar David Stevens, explaining that vacation pay and vacation pay to two retired elections department employees were the cause of the deficit. said it became

Of the total $40,000 transferred, $33,154 will be used to pay the remaining staff salaries.

AZPM asked Stevens for clarification as to whether the PTO payment was a one-time payment and whether the PTO payment was issued for two staff members’ unused leave, but has not yet responded. .

The board also authorized the use of $550,000 to cover overtime and mileage at the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office. This funding is from the Arizona Department of Homeland Security.

An additional $11,248 was also approved for the purchase of equipment.

Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Ken Foster said the funding was part of AZDHS’ Operation Stone Garden grant program. Funding occurs periodically.

“The Sheriff’s Department has been participating in the Operation Stone Garden grant program for many years,” Foster said. “Overtime and mileage funds will be used in conjunction with our federal law enforcement partners to identify and stop human trafficking and drug trafficking in the United States, particularly in our counties.”

Foster added that the grant will also reimburse the county for $50,000 in costs associated with county vehicles used to support the grant’s public safety missions.

The Cochise County Sheriff’s Department was also authorized to spend $1.5 million to establish a countywide secure communication system between local schools and the Sheriff’s Department.

District 2 Supervisor Ann English asked what the money would be used for. Dr. Jackie Cray, Cochise County Superintendent of Education, said the funding will go to vendor Navigate360, which will provide a safe way to replace school maps, building floor plans and manually-activated panic button alarm systems.

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