The administration has pulled out all the stops to try to persuade us citizens with misinformation and fear. Again, they are attempting to entice us into voting for an overpriced and …
The administration has pulled out all the stops to try to persuade us citizens with misinformation and fear. Again, they are attempting to entice us into voting for an overpriced and GRAND new Public Safety Center for five-million plus dollars. Apparently it has been forgotten that WE THE PEOPLE said the last time this issue came up for a vote that their sheriff’s complex was too BIG and too EXPENSIVE. This proposal is even BIGGER (almost 30,000 sq. feet) AND MORE EXPENSIVE than the last one….
By Mike Roe
The administration has pulled out all the stops to try to persuade us citizens with misinformation and fear. Again, they are attempting to entice us into voting for an overpriced and GRAND new Public Safety Center for five-million plus dollars. Apparently it has been forgotten that WE THE PEOPLE said the last time this issue came up for a vote that their sheriff’s complex was too BIG and too EXPENSIVE. This proposal is even BIGGER (almost 30,000 sq. feet) AND MORE EXPENSIVE than the last one.
It also appears that they think if they make misleading statements long enough that we, the citizens, will come to believe their story is all true. There is even an added twist to the story this time. The administration is attempting to scare us into believing that we must spend this kind of money for a new safety center complex in order to upgrade our E911. THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE! If you remember, during the last election we the citizens already voted in a TAX INCREASE for the E911 to pay for upgrading and new equipment. (Note: The City of Washington and Washington County also provide funding.) In fact, some of the upgraded equipment has already been ordered and received, and is currently being used.
The present administration wants us to believe that emergency services won’t be there when we need them. THIS IS THE WORST KIND OF SCARE TACTIC. There is not one among us who doesn’t care about our families’ well-being. However, this sense of well-being is NOT hitched to a new sheriff’s complex, as we would be led to believe. This is simply a very intentional “tug at the heart strings” to drag our families into this vote.
It is being suggested or sometimes even stated that the jail inspector might shut down our jail if we don’t pass the present proposal. THIS IS FALSE AND MISLEADING. He has no intention of shutting down our jail if the proposed Local Option Sales Tax (L.O.S.T.) is again soundly defeated. He has stated that he would reduce our allowed inmate population to 18 prisoners if there was no progress made on our present situation. This reduced number would cover OUR OWN prisoner population per the committees’ own numbers. This would also require sending back prisoners from other jails. Removing these out-of-county prisoners is even a good thing, because it will reduce our liability exposure substantially. (Note: a limit of 18 prisoners would at times be tight but the jail inspector has indicated he would work with us.)
We are also being told that it will cost $300,000 - $600,000 a year to house our prisoners in other jails out of county. THIS IS NOT TRUE, as explained above. DEFEATING THE ADMINISTRATION’S PRESENT PROPOSAL IS NOT GOING TO COST US THIS KIND OF MONEY. The administration would like us to believe it will, but here again, this misinformation is an attempt to entice us to pass a very expensive jail complex package.
Next and equally important, is the fact that we would be paying for a five million dollar facility that should cost us around three-four million dollars, maybe less. Worse yet, we are paying for a structure that is not designed for future expansion or alteration without spending large sums of money again. This amounts to US, THE CITIZENS, paying for wasted dollars sometime in the future!
I could go on talking about the roof leaking and taking citizens’ tours through the building to see the water stains on the wall, then fixing the leaks after the citizens questioned why the roof had been allowed to fall into disrepair in the first place. That tactic backfired, BIG TIME! I could talk about personnel promotions adding to upper-level management just prior to the needs committee being convened to try to convince “us” that we need a huge facility. These are some of the tactics the administration is using to gain our sympathy vote. Let the facts, real needs, and ALL the information guide our vote!
We should not be misled, misinformed, presented with wants instead of needs, outright deceived, and scared into voting for an unnecessarily costly sheriff’s complex. Remember, the project now being presented is BIGGER and MORE EXPENSIVE than the one we defeated last year! Additionally, the Washington County’s bonding attorney highly doubted that we could build it for the estimated cost and generate enough L.O.S.T. funds to pay for it within five years, to which our administration responded, “It is not as much as we need, but if that’s what we have to get…” It was then revealed that the administration could borrow up to $800,000 more if needed by splitting the project into two smaller subprojects. SO, HOW MUCH IS IT REALLY GOING TO COST??? The supervisors limited the L.O.S.T. to five years hoping that that would entice us to vote for it even though they admitted that they would probably have to borrow additional money and pay that off through property taxes.
Also of note: it is being said that 80% of those surveyed were in favor of the L.O.S.T. as a funding means for this giant. There were only 91 or so respondents out of 20,000 plus residents. This low number of respondents makes the sampling insignificant by statistical standards, therefore making the results unreliable. The people may feel L.O.S.T. is better or bonding is better, but this survey cannot be relied upon as saying which is which.
Have you been reading that the state’s sales tax revenues are going down? That means even more money may have to be borrowed to cover this short-fall. Tough times are here and are ahead. We need conservatism in county spending and this is not it!
The facts, as I have presented them over the last year, speak clearly for themselves with the information as true today as it was when I first offered it. DON’T BELIEVE THAT OUR E911 SERVICE WON’T BE THERE IF WE DON’T VOTE FOR A HIGH DOLLAR SHERIFF’S COMPLEX. E911 IS ALREADY PROVIDED FOR. WE WILL STILL HAVE E911, WHETHER IT’S IN THE PRESENT BUILDING, A THREE-FOUR MILLION DOLLAR BUILDING, OR A FIVE MILLION PLUS DOLLAR ONE. Let’s again show the administration that we do not need this wastefulness.
We citizens of this county are quite capable of making an informed decision if we are given ALL of the FACTS. I also believe that the citizens, like me, will support a reasonable project when it is presented to us. However, I personally WILL NOT support the L.O.S.T. on THIS project on Tuesday, November 16, and I ask that you, the taxpaying citizens, vote NO also!
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