Due to rising costs, Lakeway officials have once again abolished the office of city marshal after reinstating it in 2013.
City Council voted to get rid of the office during the Sept. 16 regular meeting, reasoning the total annual cost of the marshal’s office has increased to the point it is expected to exceed the cost of contracting with outside law enforcement agencies.
City documents state the $80,000 price tag associated with keeping the office running—a cost that includes employee salary, benefits, equipment, training and vehicle maintenance—has rendered it worthy of cutting from the budget.
“Operating a city marshal’s office is simply not cost effective anymore,” Lakeway Presiding Judge Kevin Madison said. “That is why I’m asking you to pass this ordinance.”
The budgetary savings of the $80,000 will be partially offset by the cost of contracting with outside agencies to perform the same functions, a city document states, adding the fiscal year 2019-20 budget includes $20,000 for new outside expenses related to the office and should result in a net savings of $60,000 for Lakeway.
Madison said the actual savings to the city should total closer to $70,000 once the position is eliminated.
The ordinance abolishing the office stipulates its assets, including the marshal’s vehicle, are to be transferred to the Lakeway Police Department.
Since one of the primary functions of the city marshal’s office is to deal with issues pertaining to warrants, Lakeway police Chief Todd Radford said the police department will undertake a new warrant follow-up process.
The process will include officers visiting the residences or workplaces of wanted individuals, placing door hangers with court contact information and employing technological systems to help detect wanted subjects, Radford said.
Radford said Lakeway police did have its own process for following up on warrants while Lakeway also had a city marshal’s office, but it was more limited in activity.