The contentious debate over the Angelina County fiscal year budget came to a close Tuesday.
The County Commissioner's Court held a public hearing, and denied the two-cent tax increase proposed by the Sheriff's office for more manpower, and resources.
"I have personally been involved in and been involved with other in situations where deputies were needed. We need more," said Karen Hopson, an Angelina County resident. "There has not been an increase in deputy manpower in Angelina County in over 21 years."
While several residents appeared at the public hearing to show support to the Angelina County Sheriff's Department to raise taxes, there were those present who also opposed.
"I'm asking you to up the standards and guidelines of the deputies," said Kevin Wisener, another Angelina County resident. "If we're going to have the best, then pay them the best but let's make sure they are the best. And my problem is we do not need to raise taxes and I took off from work today to be here and I tell you gentlemen that there's a lot more out there like me that do not want there taxes raised."
For months Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches has been hoping for more deputies and patrol units. Compared to the last budget workshop where discussions were heated, Tuesday's public hearing was rather calm.
"It's about the needs of the community and the people," said Wes Suiter, Angelina County Judge. "But in order to meet those needs, we have 31 departments that have to provide some obligation and some form of service to the community albeit that they are all different.
Ultimately the decision was made to stick to the proposed budget.
"We've always tried to help the Sheriff's department out the best we could. it's just at this point, it's just a little bit bigger than we can do this year," said Greg Harrison, Precinct 1 Commissioner.
As the outcome was not in favor of the Sheriff's department, Sanches says he will work hard to keep morale up to his deputies.
"I hope and pray that one does not get killed in the line of duty because of shortage of manpower because this is something these leaders are going to have to live with," Sanches said.
The budget goes into effect on January 1, 2018.
The county commissioner, county judge and the sheriff hope a better outcome will take place for the next fiscal year.