Letters (Sept. 9, 2009)

Has the county done its jail homework?


There are many unanswered questions about the Marion County jail issue. Concerned citizens have a right to hear answers to basic questions from the Marion County commissioners and their jail committee.

Why is the jail in such bad shape if we have been paying taxes to maintain it all these years? Why should we believe the commission would take any better care of a new facility?

Marion County has become a bottom-tier county in Kansas. Other bottom-tier counties are faced with the same jail compliance regulations. Simple calls to other county offices and/or newspapers lead directly to answers about how other counties are dealing with their jail issues.

Has the Marion County commission and their committee really done their research?

Rural counties are not building extensive facilities. They are transporting their detainees to facilities outside their area.

Some rural facilities that have been built very near Marion County have struggled to fill their vacancies. These include facilities in Rice County and Chase County. Why has the commission and their committee not discussed the options of intake and transfer facilities?

Is the commission and the committee planning to engage in public debate about the jail issue and explain why they continue to disrespect the voters will?

Since the Kansas Attorney General?s office determined the duty is a tax and not a ?special assessment,? is it even legal to pursue jail taxation at this time?

Concerned citizens have voice in numbers. If you share concerns about financing a large jail project at this time, please call me 620-947-3966. We can organize community groups that, at the very least, seek reasonable answers to some of the questions neither the county commission nor their committee are addressing.

Stan Thiessen


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