When Marco Lucero was first elected, I used to observe the antics of our pistol packin’ sheriff with amusement as he strutted around Los Alamos like he was Sheriff Longmire when in fact he reminds me more of Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife (youngsters, google “The Andy Griffith Show”). However, his continual lawsuits against the county aren’t so funny anymore because, even though they are frivolous, they are costing Los Alamos County time and money to defend.
And for at least the past two years Sheriff Lucero has proposed a budget for his department of almost $350,000! Included in his latest request was $46,000 for a “Passenger Vehicle equipped with cage for transport, communications, and lights,” and $65,000 for a “3/4 ton Truck for Sheriff’s transportation, radio, toolbox, gooseneck hitch for horse transport to scenes.”
I’m kind of surprised that he didn’t include a cost for the purchase and upkeep of a horse or two (I noticed that he was wearing his side-arm during his presentation to the County Council because … well, I actually have no idea why).
Kudos to the County Council for approving a budget of around $15,500 – which is still too much, but much closer to reality. Remember, the only duty of Los Alamos’ sheriff is the tracking and registering of sex offenders in Los Alamos County – something that could probably be done in a few hours per month.
If Sheriff Lucero wants to provide a service to Los Alamos County, perhaps he could focus on bicycle safety for young children (including wearing a helmet, which he doesn’t do while riding his own motorcycle) or teaching new parents how to correctly install child safety seats. At the very least, he should stop wasting the taxpayers’ money by trying to expand his duties beyond what is permitted in the Charter.