REGISTER VIEWPOINT: Can deputies afford to get what they want?

Editor's note: This editorial has been updated from the print edition to reflect Sheriff Lyons' decision She
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

Editor's note: This editorial has been updated from the print edition to reflect Sheriff Lyons' decision

Sheriff Terry Lyons decided not to fight the arbitrator's decision, and his deputies might want to consider being careful what they wish for -- because they might get it.

And they might not be able to afford it.

The deputies' union protested the hiring of part-time workers to man the security station at the Erie County Courthouse, arguing their contract with the county means it's their job to do so.

Lyons wanted to hire part-time deputies, but the union said no -- so county commissioners hired part-time, non-deputy workers who report to Family Court Judge Robert DeLamatre.

Last week, an arbitrator said courthouse security was a job for deputies. Specifically, full-time deputies who are part of the bargaining unit -- the union.

Lyons decided not to fight, so that's where it stands. And if the deputies are ultimately successful -- for now, the security screen is still being operated by the non-union employees -- they'll be taking on extra duties while the mantra at the county level is (or should be) cut, cut, cut.

Lyons has been up front in the past with his desire for more money for more deputies. What's been equally up front is the county doesn't have that money to hand out, and the supply won't be getting any bigger. That means the Sheriff's office will have to suck it up, same as the other departments, and the deputies will have to embrace the idea of concessions.

Obviously, we as county residents want the most safety and security we can get for our hard-earned, grudgingly given bucks. The security part-timers were an attempt to supply that at a savings. One of the concessions deputies may have to embrace is to live with the part-timers so the full-timers can patrol the roads.