Paul Gross is donating approximately $26,000 to the Madison County Sheriffs Office in the form of the salary he receives as a Madison County commissioner.
Gross became a commissioner on June 1 by appointment to fill the seat Chris Snyder vacated. The appointment expires on Jan. 2, 2011. The commissioners job pays $44,421 a year. The $26,000 represents the pay Gross will earn in the seven-month span of his appointment.
“I want to send a clear message that I have the interests of Madison County at heart, said Gross.
Due to county budget cuts, the Sheriffs Office has lost the equivalent of six patrol deputies in the last two years. A levy to remedy the situation failed in May.
“The voters have not had the opportunity to vote on me, so—at least in my appointment period—Im going to forgo my salary to help put a deputy back on the street to do good for the county, Gross said.
The London resident is the Republican Central Committees nominee to fill the remaining two years of Snyders term, which expires at the end of 2013. The unexpired term will be up for election this November. Gross said his salary donation only applies to his appointment period. At this time, he is making no promises of a similar arrangement should he be elected for another two years.
Madison County Sheriff James P. Sabin said Gross donation will enable him to start the process of putting another deputy on the road. Traditionally, the department fills a deputy vacancy with a dispatcher already on staff, then selects and trains a replacement for the dispatcher. That process takes time and costs money, he said.
When asked what will happen to the restored deputy job when Gross donation period ends, Sabin said,Im cautiously optimistic that by the time we start preparing for next years budget, we will be in a position where we will be able to maintain (the job).
Gross said his full-time job puts him in a good position to donate his commissioner salary. He is president and CEO of Insurance Claims Management.
“Its the right thing to do today… Its a good way to illustrate the countys immediate needs, and Im now scouring the budget to find every opportunity to solve (the countys fiscal) problems on a more permanent basis, he said.