Hall County Sheriff in "Fiscal Handcuffs"


They patrol small towns and gravel roads, but county sheriffs take on duties no one else does, like serving papers.

In Hall County alone, that adds up to tens of thousands of documents a year. And officials say it has an arresting affect.

"Whether it's intended or not, the State of Nebraska has taken the Hall County Sheriff and put him in fiscal handcuffs and that's not right," County Supervisor Gary Quandt said.

Hall County board members raised concerns to State Senator Mike Gloor.

They want to charge more for each paper they serve, saying they lose $10 on each one and most are for private attorneys, collection agencies, and landlords.

Supervisor Scott Arnold told Gloor, "All we're asking is that those kinds of things pay their way – taxpayers not subsidize private business."

Gloor wants to break down the numbers.

"Of papers served, 80 percent are on behalf of large businesses? I don't know that's true. How many papers are served on behalf of single moms trying to get garnishments to pay for care for their child," he said.

The senator is also cautious, saying the debate could quickly expand to other things taxpayers support, along with user fees.

He said, "Should fees cover the entire expense of operating parks as an example. People may not be making that connection but it is a policy decision about tax dollars versus fees, what's the right balance and it's part of the discussions we'll have on this issue."

The legislature will be back to work very soon, one month from now.

Gloor said he would be meeting with local law enforcement leaders later this week about this and other issues.