Community / News / October 23, 2008

Incumbent County Sheriff hopes to oversee budget in next fiscal year

GALESBURG: The proposed 2009 budget for the Knox County Sheriff’s Department is $3.49 million and David L. Clague, 56, a lifetime Galesburg resident, a former Galesburg Police Department lieutenant, a husband, a father and the incumbent County Sheriff, hopes to oversee that budget once the fiscal year begins Dec. 1.

“I hope by being in this office that I can provide a safe community for all residents and citizens,” he said. “My loyalties lie within this county. I hope my past speaks for itself and my dedication to this department and the citizens of the county will continue.”

Clague says he has done two major things to help the budget since he was named sheriff in August 2007, after former Sheriff Jim Thompson retired. He was able to reduce the price for inmates’ meals from $1.88 per meal to $1.30 and he secured a $10 increase in the money the county receives per day from the federal government for federal inmates.

“Federal inmates have been housed by the county since 1994 or 1995 and since that time there had never been an increase,” Clague said. “The increase from $51 to $61 amounts to a quarter of a million dollar revenue increase for the county.”

Clague feels controlling budgets and expenditures are crucial for this job.

“I am the one who will go over budget or stay under,” he said. “Every budget, no matter what business, deals 80 percent with personnel. The remaining part deals with 104 inmates. With that comes expensive heating and cooling bills. On average, we pay $14,000 in utilities a month and $7,000 a month in fuel for the squad cars. It is imperative that every dollar spent is just. By doing so that will provide the best services to the citizens of Knox County.”

Maintaining the budget of the county is not Clague’s only worry.

“I am thankful the railroad is here, but it is a concern,” Clague said. “We have the second largest railroad yard in the country and the number one railroad yard as far as hazardous materials coming in and out.”

One way Clague makes sure the Burlington Northern Sante Fe railroad hub in Galesburg is secure and safe is through close contact with federal agencies.

“On a daily basis, I get emails from Washington D.C. dealing with Homeland Security,” Clague said. “No one else in this state has that access because of the clearance rating I have from the federal government.”

Clague, a 2003 graduate of the FBI National Academy, has this clearance because he participated in the FBI Fellowship program from Oct. 2006 to June 2007. While in the fellowship program, he worked on counter terrorism matters and his exposure to classified

material during that time required the clearance.

“Less than one percent of individuals in the world are accepted into the FBI National Academy,” Clague said. “By having that clearance, I can provide a better service to the citizens of Knox County.

Matthew Wheaton

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