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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Sheriff's contract jumps 14.5 percent in Anna Maria

The new contract proposed to Anna Maria by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office to provide police services to the city during the 2004-05 budget year has climbed to $585,000, a 14.5 percent increase from last year.

The draft contract was submitted to Mayor SueLynn late last week and she's asked for an explanation of the increases. In addition, the mayor said she wants some negotiating space with the MCSO, as the contract price has climbed 38.3 percent in just three years.

For the 2003-04 budget, MCSO was paid $511,000 by Anna Maria. The MCSO contract price in 2002-03 was $461,000, while the preceding budget year (2001-02), the figure was just $423,000.

The $511,000 paid by the city to the MCSO in 2003-04 represented 25 percent of the city's total budget.

"I'm sure we're still getting a bargain," said the mayor, "but I want to know what these increases are for and I want to negotiate."

In prior years, the MCSO has essentially told the city to "take it or leave it" for the price and service offered, she indicated.