Walton County Heritage Museum

Learn more about the history of Walton County

Train Depot Museum

Walton County Courthouse

Growing to meet the needs of the community


Lake DeFuniak

One of only two perfectly round lakes in the world

Fun and relaxation

Hotel DeFuniak

Built in 1920, completely restored, the perfect place to stay!

Weather Forecast
July 2015
« Jun    

Johnson taking measures following budget meeting

Sep 26th, 2008 | 0


On Sept. 15, Walton County Sheriff Ralph Johnson sent a representative to the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) meeting on the pending budget for fiscal 2008-09, requesting an increase of $320,000 over the 2007-08 fiscal year budget. The details of that meeting are reported in another article in this issue. The new budget was tentatively approved without Johnson’s requested increase. A final budget hearing will be held on Sept. 29.
On Sept. 16, Johnson sent a memo to “Supervisors and Deputies.” The subject of the memo was “Car Fees.” The memo, in its entirety, reads:
“Effective October 1, 2008, all personnel that drive company issued vehicles home will be charged a $100.00 fee. This is to include both marked and unmarked vehicles. This $100.00 will be withheld from your paycheck.” The memo is signed by Johnson.
It was also reported in another periodical that Johnson intended to serve eight full-time and two part-time Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) employees a notice of employment termination, effective Sept. 30. That notice reportedly was to have been given last week.
WCSO Capt. Eddie Ferris confirmed the notices and memo, and said “[Johnson's] hands are more or less frozen,” adding, “If he gets the money, then nobody will get laid off.” As for the $100 vehicle fee, Ferris was not certain whether the BCC’s approval of the additional $320,000 would obviate the need to collect that fee. Ferris said that the vehicle fee, if implemented, would be a once-per-month charge.
The WCSO has listed its current number of positions, including administrative, mechanics, communications, deputy sheriffs, extradition deputies, investigators, narcotics investigators, bailiffs and school resource officers, as being 209. A Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida insurance group invoice for the WCSO, billed Aug. 20, 2008, shows a total of 215 insured employees, including seven bailiffs, who are paid by the state. A 2007 Criminal Justice Agency Profile report for Florida shows that Walton County has an officer-to-population ratio of 2.72 per 1,000 county residents. This is the third-highest such ratio in the state. At a July 11, 2007 meeting of the BCC, Johnson told the commission that Walton County needed a ratio of 1.5 deputies per 1,000 of county population.

Comments are closed.