County Mayor and Sheriff Share Concerns About "Major Budget Cuts"
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - The Hamilton County Mayor and Sheriff seem to be singing from the same song book when it comes to concern over what the Mayor calls an effort to fend off "major budget cuts."
At the annual County Legislative Breakfast, County Mayor Claude Ramsey did not officially announce his intentions to seek another term. Ramsey has previously given a strong hint that he will run again during a Rotary Club meeting downtown. Channel 3 Eyewitness News has learned that an official announcement could come as early as this weekend.
On Wednesday, Mayor Ramsey expressed concern about fiscal challenges that lie ahead and the effort to fend off major budget cuts to the county by the state. Ramsey says Governor Bredesen has agreed to have discussions before decisions are made. The Mayor does indicate that job cuts at the county level are a last-resort possibility.
Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond also worries about cuts at the state level. Hammond says the state savings plan could include the release of up to 3,000 non-violent prisoners. Hammond also said that an already over-tasked TBI crime lab may become even slower because of funding cuts. That could delay court cases. Hammond's idea of a solution includes a way to have the County assume some of those testing capabilities.