Mason County Budget Belt Tightening Squeezes Out Five Deputies


“I don’t want to live in the Old West,” one resident of Beard’s Cove told the Mason County Commissioners Tuesday. “It would be a free-for-all.”

The resident, referencing commissioner Tim Sheldon’s declaration of “open season on criminals,” argued against cutting deputies from the Mason County Sheriff’s Office. Still, Sheldon and his fellow commissioners, citing “a time of unprecedented financial difficulties,” cut five deputies, according to a Kitsap Sun story by Barbara Clark.

Clark recorded a brief confrontation between Sheldon, whose been advocating for the self-reliance of his citizens, and Mason County Sheriff Casey Salisbury, who’d been critical of what he felt were vigilante-promoting comments.

Here it is:

Salisbury said he doesn’t oppose “responsible gun ownership,” but deputies have to respond even to incidents of self-protection. With the level of crime, he said, “why would anybody want to cut deputies?”

Sheldon fired back, “No one wants to cut deputies!”

The Mason County Sheriff’s Office is the largest department in the county, with a $9.5 million budget.

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