Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Voters have said NO on two previous bond requests to fund a new jail prior to the current economy. They are now willing to spend $35,000 of scarce tax dollars for a special election for a new jail.
Do they not understand we are paying all we can afford in property and business tax?
$46MM for the bond equals $58+MM on the easy pay plan they want us to underwrite. They are not telling us how much it will cost to staff and maintain a new jail. Average costs for a jail of this size run in the neighborhood of $15-20MM a year. This cost will come from higher taxes on all property and businesses in Canyon County.
There is a serious disconnect between the Sheriff, the Prosecutor, the judges and taxpayers ability to pay more property taxes. The United States has the highest incarceration rate on the face of planet Earth. It currently costs $84/day to keep someone in our jail.
Commissioners have twice violated public trust with illegal purchases of property for jail sites and twice citizens have filed lawsuits over their illegal behavior. What they tried to accomplish on the sly they now want to do with a bond election and are asking you to sanction their bad choices.
The average jail sentence is 18-20 days. In the mid 1990’s the average was 9 days. They could double the jail space by reigning in jail sentences and court efficiency by getting indigent jail inmates through the system in a timely manner.
More use of alternative sentencing along with the use of cite and release for misdemeanor violations rather than immediate incarceration.
If current jail conditions are atrocious it is due to poor management of a public asset. ACLU lawsuit cost taxpayers $190k for our elected and appointed officials not taking care of the place.
Now is not the time to put more tax burden on our citizens, businesses and property owners. We are asking you to vote NO on the jail bond Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010.
It will cost taxpayers $8,000/day to pay back the bond debt for the next 20 years. It will also cost taxpayers $39,600/day to operate a new jail of the size Commissioners want to build. $47,600 a day to keep people in jail at our expense.
Call the County Elections Office @ 454-7562 to find your polling place. Or you can vote early at the county elections office in Caldwell at the corner of 11th Avenue and Chicago. There are only 12 polling places open for this special election for the entire county.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 2:36 PM