Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 07 October 2008 14:01
One of the first admonitions in Consumerism 101 is if a salesman is pushing for a quick decision on a major purchase, just walk away. If that same salesman is at the same time strangely nebulous about the financial validity of his deal and evasive about answering your questions, then don’t just walk away—run! That’s our advice following last week’s public meetings regarding the commissioners’ proposal for an $8.5 million pay-to-stay jail in Marion County.
It is alarming to us the lack of information the commissioners are putting before the people before asking us to take on an enormous economic investment. These public meetings should have been held a minimum of six months earlier, not a mere month before the public is expected to vote on it. Equally alarming is the apparent lack of credible research into the long-term feasibility of the project. It appears the only input the commissioners are receiving is from the architectural and bond companies that stand to profit handsomely with from a “yes” vote Nov. 4. We have yet to see something as basic as a business plan—one of the first thing any banker would ask for if this project was being proposed in the private sector.
Our commissioners are well-intentioned people. They want what’s best for Marion County. But their leadership on this issue is far less than what we have a reasonable right to expect as constituents. And that is reason enough to vote “no” on Nov. 4—although there are many more reasons. At the very least, we deserve a proposal that is well-researched, clearly presented and with sufficient time allowed to receive answers to very reasonable questions. —DR