Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett this week offered revised contract proposals to the cities that pay for his department’s important services. This is wise, as these same cities understandably rejected previous offers they considered exorbitant. Cashmere and Leavenworth even explored forming their own police department. Leavenworth launched a search for a police chief.
You can see why. Leavenworth’s 2013 contract for sheriff’s patrols was nearly 20 percent above what it paid in 2010, and Burnett’s initial offer for 2014 was 10 percent more than that. Burnett’s new offer is closer to a 3-percent hike.
We don’t know how the cities will react, and what the future holds for Leavenworth, Cashmere, Entiat and Chelan. We know law enforcement is not cheap, but there are limits easily reached without communication. The cities should know they receive what they pay for, and that they do not pay for things they do not receive. Communications with the sheriff’s office should be open and transparent, to the point the cities are satisfied their taxpayers are not subsidizing something else, unrelated. Without honest communication and give-and-take, the relationship will end. Everyone can count on that.
This is the opinion of The Wenatchee World and its Editorial Board: Publisher Rufus Woods, Editor Cal FitzSimmons and Editorial Page Editor Tracy Warner.