Franklin Sheriff Calls for Big Change in Relationship with Benton County
(Pasco, WA) -- Franklin County Sheriff Jim Raymond is calling for more independence for the county itself, specifically in areas where there are a number of shared services with Benton County. In the letter, posted to Facebook Tuesday, Sheriff Raymond called for the hiring of several key administrators, using money Franklin currently pays to Benton for shared services. Sheriff Raymond's letter used words like "subservient" and "big brother mentality" to describe the current working relationship between the two counties, with Franklin, he appears to say, getting the short end of the partnership. In his words, he says "Big Brother is going to stomp us into the ground until we are insignificant"
To remedy the situation, Sheriff Raymond is calling for a permanent county administrator, an outside facilitator, a court director solely for Franklin County and a Franklin County Human Services Director. The last one, he says, should oversee a Franklin-only Health Department and Recovery Center
Benton County responded to the sheriff's letter in an email to Newsradio 610 KONA
"Benton County in no way views its partnership with Franklin County as “subservience” – we are simply offering services to our neighbors that they currently do not have the resources to support on their own.If the Board of Franklin County Commissioners and other elected officials wish to formally separate operations from Benton County, those discussions can be facilitated, and we will not object to them. At the end of the day, we want to ensure all people in our community are offered high-quality services, no matter who is providing them."