• Last modified 3940 days ago (Nov. 5, 2008)


Proposed jail: Enough already

There comes a time when it’s appropriate to let go of issues and let the public decide for itself.

That was the point I was at this past week. Yes, I suppose I could have filled the newspapers with more information about what had already been said about the proposed new jail and sales tax increase. And, yes, I could have again shared my opinion about the situation but I was to the point then (and still am) where the public has heard and read the proposal presented by Marion County Commission.

By the time you read this, the decision will have been made. Once again, the majority has been heard and life will go on.

I believe that voters are reasonably intelligent and can process the information on their own without someone, including an editor or publisher or commissioner, forcing his or her opinion down their throats again and again.

The county commission had several options and this was the one the members decided to present to the public for consideration. Don’t blame or throw rocks at the commissioners for trying. It’s their job to give options to constituents and then it’s our job to decide if this is what we want to do.

The only concern I have is what’s going to happen now? Since the bond issue did not pass, what direction should the commission take?

People sometime complain that elected officials do not listen to constituents and do as they please. Too many times constituents are quick to point out when something doesn’t work out but cannot offer any constructive alternatives.

There are numerous options regarding the situation of the jail.

1. Keep going as we have been with the possibility of having a multi-million dollar lawsuit on our hands, being shut down for infractions, or worse yet, waiting until something horrific happens to someone.

2. Transport prisoners to another jail but still would need to remodel the current jail to be able to hold prisoners for court dates and prior to transporting.

3. Remodel the current jail to meet codes and regulations. In the end, the county still would have a 50-year-old structure with a million dollar facelift.

4. Teardown the current jail, purchase some privately-owned land near the current jail, and build a jail to accommodate only our prisoners.

5. Propose a 44-bed jail.

This issue was like so many others. We are quick to sit around and complain about the proposal but cannot offer any constructive alternatives.

The deal is done. Let’s move past this but keep in mind elected officials need our input. Talk to a commissioner. Send ideas to this newspaper. We’ll publish them.

Let’s quit being bystanders who then complain about the outcome. Let’s get more involved and let these elected officials know what we think.

— susan berg

Last modified Nov. 5, 2008