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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Lack of County Planning

THE GUARDIAN has received comments too long or in poor syntax. Below is my attempt to summarize by category what has been received:

1.Lack of a "Master Plan" on the part of our commissioners has led to poor decisions about needed office space to carry out county functions. Purchase of the Job Service building, moving the license offices and lack of courtrooms offer the best examples of poor decisions for taxpayers. Bad decisions are just about all we see anymore from commissioners.

2. Sheriff Smith did not make the decision to move license offices. The decision was made by the commissioners. He did support a move out of the courthouse. He does not support license offices in more than one central location. Office consolidation into one facility is his stated goal. He supports bond elections to build a 2,000 bed jail facility on Hwy. 20/26. He has made no mention about staffing, and operational costs once this gets built. Temporary jail beds will cost $60,000/each!

3.Work release fees were $20/day when George Nourse was sheriff. Work Release was in 50 bed facility, a "reservation system" was used by Nourse. The facility operated at 100% occupancy.

4. Work Release fee is $20/day, Sheriff Smith wants an increase to $25/day. Work Release is now in a new 224 bed facility. Every day there are about 100 empty beds. This creates a "price/demand" management opportunity. A "SALE PRICE" would create demand for empty beds. Unsold inventory is generally moved via price reductions in the real do not sell excess inventory with price increases. Fill the place and operate it at or near 100%capacity. A key Republican principle is the "free market" ultimately sets the price for everything, "it's the price stupid".

5. Job Service office purchase mirrors there is no plan in place from the self described "CEO talent" commissioners. Let's pay them more and see what happens. The IPT missed this point in the paper today. There is no substitute for good planning. Keep county functions at the courthouse. Are they going to give us all a map for where we go to conduct county business? Cheap is as cheap does, a quality decision is never a bad one.

6. Judges sentence people to jail, work release is a sentencing option granted by judges and administered by the sheriff. Daily fees are paid in advance a week at a time plus any other fees that may be assessed by the sheriff. The court commit has this information listed at the time of sentencing.

If you want to submit a "GUEST OPINION", just like the paper, you sign your name along with a phone number. Length should be confined to one screen maximum. Send it to me via email. Brief comments get posted, junk gets deleted.


  1. How do you come to the figure of beds costing $60,000 a piece .

    Just curious.

    Would like to know how you came to this conclusion....

  2. The cost per bed was determined by the total cost of the project as defined by the County Deciders. $12Million dollars divided by the number of beds in the "temporary jail". The result is $60K/bed.

    If the County floats a bond for $80 million to build the 800 more permanent beds that they have on the drawing board those beds will cost $100,000 each.


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