Austin’s Daily Commentary – December 5, 2023
Austin talks about Sheriff Roundtree’s retention bonuses.
Austin: That is not Santa Claus walking around the Richmond County Sheriff’s Department handing out $5,000 checks to all of the employees. That would be Richard Roundtree doing that. Now he is using taxpayers funds to do it. But folks, he’s calling it a retention bonus.
Now, before everyone immediately jumps to the conclusion that Austin is going to hate this because Roundtree is doing something nice for his people. I couldn’t disagree more with that. I actually support $5,000 bonuses for certified employees.
The question I have is why are all the secretaries and clerks and peripheral staffers getting the same $5,000 bonus? They’re not the ones in shortage right now. They’ve got all the office workers and all the support staff that they need. What they’re missing are certified peace officers in the road, actually doing police work and jailers as well. Those are the folks who deserve the $5,000 retention bonus. They’re the ones where there’s actually a shortage. And Roundtree ought to be bright enough to see that.
Now he’s using this money that has been saved from having about 200 deputies short on his staff for several years now. So the money’s there. That’s not the issue. The money is not the issue. The question is who deserves it and why should it be paid? Not simply for being a part of the sheriff’s department, which is what Roundtree is trying to say. But the positions in need, specifically badge-wearing certified personnel that do police work in the street and in the jail. That’s the shortage, period. Anything other than that is a gratuitous bonus that should not be given. Period. It just shouldn’t be.
Roundtree is in an interesting spot. He’s being challenged for the first time in his political career since he was elected sheriff in a way that he’s never been challenged before. And so he’s doing everything in his power to kiss up to as many people as he can. And this is one of his ways of attempting to buy support. He’s done a terrible job of running the department. But, hey, he’s handing out big wads of cash right now. So happy, happy smile, smile. Right? And Merry Christmas from the taxpayers of Richmond County. Deservedly to the badge wears not so much to the people that work the office. 5000 bucks apiece. Merry Christmas. And that’s the comment, I’m Austin Rhodes, AM 580/95.1 FM, News Talk WGAC.