It’s cryin’ time again in Tiny KingdomPublished 7:54pm Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Consolidating duplicated services is always a hot topic. Just last week one candidate played the “fear” card when talking about consolidating services, according to the paper he asked, “If you want to lose your fire department raise your hand?
Tryon’s fire department has a faster response time than the county.” That sounds great but the county doesn’t have a fire department! I think he was talking about the Tiny Kingdom having its own 911-dispatch desk Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (The rest of the time 911-dispatch is handled by the county.)
Of course 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday is when all the major crime happens in the Tiny Kingdom. That’s when the big banks are open!
An important public service the three little kingdoms and the county provide is law enforcement. Now here’s the kick in the head. The total amount of money the three little kingdoms spend on law enforcement is about the same as what the county spends; $1.6 million! The total number of vehicles driving around the three little kingdoms is 15, the sheriff’s department has 30. The total number of full time officers in the three kingdoms is 19, and the total number of full time officers in the county is 29. Obviously not all 29 officers and 30 vehicles in the sheriff’s department are dedicated to patrolling the 239 square miles that make up Polk County. There are other areas such as criminal investigation that the sheriff’s department is involved with that the smaller departments don’t handle, and these line item costs are over and above what the county spends on patrol. However, my point is, to watch folks pay twice for the same service is enough to make you cry!
For more detailed information on this duplication, please Google: Tiny Kingdom Tryon.
– John Calure, Landrum