A Jeffersonian In East Texas

August 16, 2008

Smith County Commissioners | Can We Trust Them?

Why would people, and why should people not trust the commissioners court to give them the truth about the new jail proposal? Well, for starters, it was done in a clandestine manner. The current proposal, and the last proposal were done without the presence of the “naysayers”, as some on the court have called them in the past. Sure, there was token involvement, under cover of darkness by some who were formerly opposed, but no real naysayers. The naysayers decided to have their say at the poles on the last proposal, and as I said before, it was a big horse laugh right in the face of official arrogance! Seems we haven’t moved very far since then.

You might want to add to this list, the fact that the court in it’s wisdom has constantly, consistently, arrogantly and relentlessly avoided the issue of why jail overcrowding is a problem, and the myriad of ways to deal with it before it gets to incarceration. This is important, because if you do not solve this piece of the puzzle, you will find any new jail overcrowded soon after it’s opening. It would seem to make sense to solve this, and then see what sort of new facility might be needed. In this case, the commissioners court is not the only problem. The district attorney was handed one solution on a silver platter, freshly passed by legislators, and signed by the governor, and has refused to take it seriously.

The newest proposal is precisely what I expected, a “jailzilla lite” with an open end. A few scoops of dirt removed from what will become a bottomless pit for tax dollars and the hundreds of potential inmates working and playing and living and breathing in this county.

I know it is too late to make a long story short, but the short of of is, that people will not, and should not trust the commissioners court, until they wholeheartedly use some of the other methods, and stop trying to hide their plans behind closed doors.


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