Archived Story

Learn about the proposed jail

Published 5:47pm Monday, October 21, 2013

To the Editor:

I am one of those citizens to which Larry Britt was referring on Sunday, Oct 13. I am by no means trying to support anyone’s position as he is apparently trying to indicate that I am. Let it be known that I have no agenda other than telling the taxpayers where they can get the information they need to make a decision as to whether they want to pay for a new jail in this current economy.

The information can be found here:

The Washington Daily News;

The Brown Library (DVD of the meeting);

Suddenlink TV on Channel 5;

The County Compass;

The Beaufort-Hyde News;

Beaufort Observer online;

The Conservative Republican Club;;

The county manager’s office at 121 W. Third St. in Washington.

When we are not allowed to hear the discussion, how are we to know there are no deals being made to spend our money at the commissioner’s discretion? If the jail meetings are not open to the public, how are we to know what the commissioners are doing behind our back? And, basically, how does the taxpaying citizen find out when and where the “jail committee” is meeting? I would suggest you use the information listed above for the answer to that, and to attend the meetings in person!

I tried to open up a discussion on the taxpayer being able to vote on the proposed new jail, and it was voted down by Al Klemm, Jerry Langley, Ed Booth and Robert Belcher. Apparently, these commissioners do not want you to vote on whether you want to pay for a 20-million dollar jail, with approximately a 3-million dollar increase in the cost to run the place passed on to the taxpayer in Beaufort County. In addition to that incredible sum of money, your property tax will be increased by approximately 15 percent to help cover the increased operating cost of that new jail and to cover the principle and interest on the bond that will have to be floated. I can’t speak for you, but I don’t like that.

Bear in mind that the state has not demanded that we build a new jail. There are less-expensive alternatives to building a new jail that has been brought up at the meetings and dismissed. It seems that the four commissioners named above are bound and determined to build that new jail whether we want it or not.


I have no objection to what the taxpayer in this county wants, as far as a new jail is concerned. I’m just trying to make certain he or she knows the whole story. And for those who think the Republican Party is split on this issue, you are right. But contrary to the belief that the party is split, have no doubt, the Republican Party will come together against outside interference when the rubber meets the road! The fact is, collectively speaking, we don’t just follow the leader, we think.

Donna Lay


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