Bexar commissioner wants to break up the state of Sheriff’s union
Published: September 7, 2011
Steven Long, just a week into his term as union president, said, “We’re not the ones mismanaging, so I think Kevin’s obviously got that fact wrong.” He contents Wolff’s new union-busting stance is simply a bargaining chip, a blatant threat to push union leaders into accepting the county’s latest deal, which included an across-the-board 7.25 percent wage increase, according to the County Manager’s office. “We don’t think what’s laid out (new jail staffing levels) are safe. … You’re talking about a safety issue here, not just for the officers but for the inmates,” Long said. “Look, Kevin’s threatening after we filed that lawsuit. That’s what this is, isn’t it? This is just a threat because we filed that suit.”
Wolff claims he’s serious about privatization and is already in “research mode,” having visited privately-run jails and pushing for other commissioners to do the same. He claims analysis from his own office shows the county could save anywhere from $7 to $10 million a year if it opted for full privatization.
In his meeting with Haven’s Block and others last month, Wolff seized the opportunity to deliver a lesson, expounding on the supposed fiscal mismanagement at the jail, along with the benefits of privatizing and union busting. Apparently the lesson stuck. Days later, Block heralded Wolff’s vision in his Express News-hosted blog. “When Kevin popped the manhole cover off the fiscal sewer that the Bexar County jail has become, the stench was awful, but the opportunity is huge,” wrote Block. If he can get others to march in line so easily, Wolff may gain traction yet. •
> Email Michael Barajas