Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Wed, April 17 2013 at 3:33 PM, Updated: Wed, April 17 2013 at 3:45 PM
Creative solutions, and voluntary pay cuts are helping some Klamath County government offices cope with budget cuts.
However, the Klamath County Sheriff is fighting for no cuts, and no increases...
Deputy District Attorneys in Klamath County are taking pay cuts to help meet a tight budget.
"They have given up their own pay." Notes Klamath County District Attorney Rob Patridge. "Some of them at 14% to make a difference, because they care about prosecuting crime in Klamath County."
Klamath County Juvenile Department Director Dan Golden plans to raise revenue by offering drug and alcohol treatment to help buffer cuts of over $120,000...
"We are going to go regional, and attract youth not only from other counties that need rehabilitation services for youth, but from the state system, the youth authority as well."
But Klamath County Sheriff Frank Skrah says he can't accept a $435,000 budget cut...
"Hopefully, we're not going to see cuts. I'm going to get in there and fight like hell for this. I will not cut people, I will not put a deputy out there by himself without a backup."
Klamath County Budget Committee Chair Alan Craigmiles cautions that the Sheriff can no longer tap into road funds...
"So he's got to make some serious cuts - and it's unfortunate, because it's public safety."
The budget committee chose to end funding for several non-mandated services, including the senior meals on wheels program.
The Klamath County Budget Committee will meet again sometime in the next couple of weeks to fine-tune their budget figures.
A formal budget must be in place by mid-June.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.