To The Editor:

Several years ago, Franklin County began a program of improving our road system by blacktopping or chip and sealing our county roads — not a cheap undertaking. Then our commissioners took our tax dollars and built those magnificent court and office buildings — not a small dollar project either!

Raises were given to top county officials, and we retained a county attorney — big bucks again. Our highway department is now unionized, so try freezing their wages! And it takes five or six of those workers to clear a single patch of road after a storm.

So what happened to our sheriff’s department? It’s one of the best around, yet we can’t pay our deputies a decent wage! Something is wrong with this picture of our county government and its sense of what’s really important. Does anyone else on the county payroll risk his or her life daily to keep us safe by patrolling our highways and subdivisions, or searching for lost children, or entering homes during violent domestic situations?

I think not! Yet it will probably be several more years, according to Sheriff Toelke, before these officers get a raise.

The county commission needs to take a serious look at how and when pay raises are given. Smart business people realize that their greatest resources and assets are their loyal employees, but apparently many of these talented and qualified officers in the sheriff’s department are having to apply for jobs in other law enforcement departments to make a decent living for their families.

If any department in the county needs more money, it is only common sense that law enforcement needs to be put at the top of the list!