June 29, 2004

(Facing the five L.A. County Supervisors with Sheriff Baca sitting to my left, I made my public comment on the proposed ½ cent sales tax for more deputies and cops)

Sheriff Baca, Supervisors.

(Facing Sheriff Baca)

Sheriff Baca, When my wife and family met_you personally a few weeks ago, we went away knowing that L.A. County is lucky to have you as its Sheriff.

(This was followed by a resounding applause from the 100 or so spectators)

I know how difficult it must be to ask the tax payers for more money. I have that problem at home when my wife tells me that she needs to increase her grocery budget due to rising expenses. Since my family's income is fixed, we have to figure out what costs we have to cut in order to have the money we need to increase the grocery budget.

So it is with the tax payers. Most citizens will put up with a tax increase if they know that the county will make an effort to, at the same time, cut expenses so that another tax increase won't be needed later on.

Sheriff Baca, your own study in 2000, revealed that an estimated 38,748 county inmates -- 23 percent of the jail population -- were deportable  illegal aliens costing the county $150 million a year.

There is a solution for the county to save that $150 million -- If you do the math, $150 million is enough to hire 1500 deputies with each receiving a yearly salary and benefits package worth $100,000.

The citizens will sign on to a petition and vote for that ½ percent sales tax increase, but only if the county shows in good faith that it will cut expenses. And here's how the county can do it:

Keep releasing prisoners as you have been doing to cut expenses, but release the deportable illegal alien ones to the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Do it like the City of Anaheim does it. A part time  ICE agent is at hand three times a day to take deportable undesirables off the city's hands and into ICE's own jail for quick deportation.

Sheriff, if you or any of you supervisors want more information on the ICE and Anaheim cooperation, contact me and I will put you in touch with the Anaheim police official who implemented the successful plan.

Hal Netkin