Letter to the Editor-July 13, 2014Published 6:57pm Saturday, July 12, 2014
In answer to the daily news opinion of the jail it seems that it is being made up mostly from their regular drive-by media. The jail is a hot button issue but with little known facts. It seems the editorial opinion is that the big reason for building a jail is because it will cost less now than later. That may be true. But it may not be true either. How does the WDN know we will not have deflation rather than inflation? If our economy continues with this depression we’re in here in Beaufort County prices may go down, not up. And for thousands of people in Beaufort County, we ARE in a depression.
Chocowinity needs a new middle school. Why don’t we go ahead and build that at the same time? And the list of needs goes on and on.
And by the way…the USDA does not have the money to lend us. The Federal Government would have to borrow much of what they lend us from China. We don’t need to build a jail that adds to the already unsustainable national debt.
Fact 1. The current jail meets all state requirements. Fact 2. The $20,000,000 figure for producing the jail (new County complex) is a bogus figure with no additions for operations, interest, additional personnel etc. Fact 3. The problems in the jail are due to poor management. Fact 4. No jail is safe. You are housing criminals. We know of no attacks on personnel. The throwing of feces and urine will happen in a new jail unless better management is instituted. Fact 5. The state Constitution requires a referendum for an expenditure of this size when there is no method of return on the investment. Jails do not generate money sufficient to pay off the debt. Fact 6. The people of Beaufort County have been denied their right to vote. Fact 7. There is no emergency for building a jail now in the middle of a recession while extracting money from people in a tier 1 County. Fact 8. New GPS tracking devices and more efficient and better judicial processes can actually decrease the jail population. Fact 9. When there are excess prisoners they can be transported to nearby jails cheaper than we can build additional space. Fact 10. Locating all of your emergency service, Sheriff’s office, magistrate’s office with a jail that meets federal prison specifications approximately 7 miles from the courthouse in the South West corner of the county makes no practical sense. Fact 11. Four of your County commissioners have signed an early contract that they admit that they had not read. Fact 12. These same four commissioners along with those who support the jail admit that if there is a referendum the people will vote down the jail.
The public deserves a right to vote. That right has been denied. The backroom deals and the flagrant disregard for public meeting laws should be a red flag to get everyone involved to change the Chocowinity Town Board and the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners. If the Daily News had covered the last two public meetings with photographs it would have shown both meetings held in intentionally cramped space that did not allow access for the people to attended. If the fire code was enforced the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners would be fined for this last public meeting.
If the best the WDN can come up with is that this project might cost more in the future, they need to rethink that excuse. It is just as likely that if we wait until the economy improves, and the school bond debts are paid off/down that we would not need to borrow all this money they are proposing to borrow. Any good business person knows that it may be better to pay a higher “sticker” price if you can make the deal without having to borrow more money.