Letter: Jail and justice center project a case of ‘public getting served’

Published 12:49 pm Friday, July 25, 2008

We currently spend around $500,000 per year renting justice center space. We will be spending $4 million a year on a new facility that won’t be large enough upon completion, yet at the same time too large to affordably staff; that’s quite a trick. To add insult to injury, we will continue renting space elsewhere, as it is finally dawning on the commissioners that renting is the most affordable solution.

We are displacing private business people against their will in order to misuse what amounts to some of the only usable high ground left downtown.

We are installing a geothermal system that has an 18-year payback on a building with a life span of 25 years. No private person would take those odds.

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So rather than hire two to three people to transport prisoners to and from our 90-day facility, we are going to hire how many jailers? 30? Maybe more? This is not the public being served, this is the public getting served.

Stopping today would mean we will have wasted one-fourth of what we will waste every year for the next 20 years.

Tony Bennett