$30K may be needed for Bush stay
May 30, 2008
Taxpayers might fork out $30,000 for overtime pay for deputies who worked when President George W. Bush visited Park City.
"We have so many different variables when we’re dealing with emergencies and presidential visits that come with a week’s notice. It is very difficult to budget to the penny what you need," Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds said.
Forty-seven county officers were needed to secure the presidential motorcade, Edmunds explained.
"That’s right about half of the deputies that I have. It’s not budgeted for and it is something that we did not anticipate," Edmunds said. "There is a lot of overtime that was involved and the costs with the equipment that we utilized."
Summit County Commissioner Sally Elliott broke the news to colleagues Wednesday after Edmunds approached her this week.
Elliott, who is a Democrat, said she advised Edmunds "to go out and protect the president."
"Frankly, I don’t care whether he lives or dies," Elliott continued at the meeting at Kimball Junction. "Don’t let him die in Summit County."
Military helicopters buzzed the Sheldon Richins Building minutes later anticipating Bush’s arrival for a fund-raising event in Deer Valley.
Edmunds is a Republican, but said deputies must guard the presidential motorcade despite who is in office.
"The level of security that is engaged in is, without exception, needed," said Edmunds, who criticized those holding crude signs and making hand gestures as Bush passed in the limousine. "It’s disgusting. To stand along the motorcade route and hold up signs like that is just classless and embarrassing."
Parkites should expect dignitaries to visit the mountain town more often, the sheriff said.
Edmunds worked Thursday at Stein Eriksen Lodge helping oversee Bush’s departure.
"It was a seamless event and I thought all of local law enforcement worked very well together with the federal law enforcement agencies that were here," Edmunds said. "That’s a huge project and you’re always concerned that things may go wrong."
The work of the Secret Service was praised by the sheriff.
"They do a job that is very impressive. Their professionalism and abilities are out of sight," Edmunds said. "But the Secret Service can’t do it alone. It’s expensive and fortunately for us were a jurisdiction that doesn’t see the president all that often."