Letters (Week of Oct. 8 2008)

Jail project is neither profitable nor helpful


As a concerned citizen of Marion County, I feel obligated to inform others on the pressing issue of the plan to build a new detention center.

I grew up in Marion and still to this day believe we have a wonderful community in which our children can play safely.

From personal experience dealing with housing Depart?ment of Corrections and federal inmates, a jail is not a profitable business, nor does it enhance the quality of life that I feel the people of Marion County strive so diligently to preserve.

If we house such inmates, their families often follow them and reside where the inmate is housed. When prisoners are released they often stay in the same community due to the lack of financial stability and more times than not are once again a burden to society. We do not need these people residing in our communities.

The Department of Corrections and federal agencies typically send their problem inmates to the contract county facilities so the inmates are no longer DOC or the federal agencies? problem.

The other issues are the financial aspects of housing these types of inmates. No matter what the agreed price is for a contract bed, there will be tremendous expenses for certification of staff personnel, additional staffing, transportation costs, 24/7 medical staff?and all of this is on top of the cost of daily operations.

Having contract beds is not a profitable venture for any county facility.

By writing this letter I am not disagreeing that we need to do something with our current jail, whether building a new facility or remodeling our current one. I do know that if a contract bed facility is built, Marion and the surrounding communities would lose the safe, relaxing, small town feel that we are so prideful in sustaining in today?s society.

Nathan Hoffman



?Fable? painted a clear picture of local issue


We commend David Vogel for reciting a fable that has application to our city of Hillsboro (Oct. 1 issue). It was obvious to us that the brown thrasher represents Raymond Brandt and the squirrels and chipmunks represent Tabor College and USD 410.

Bob & Helen Fenstermacher



Democrats needed to restore public trust


Last week?s letter to the editor from Allen Suderman gave the concrete numbers on which political party tends to the leave the country in better financial shape. The information in his letter gives a true ring to a saying credited to President Harry Truman, ?If you want to live like a Republican vote for a Demo?crat.?

Sen. John McCain has been in Washington for a long time and during that time he was enmeshed in the Keating Five Savings & Loan scandal. Accused of interfering with bank regulators on behalf of Arizona financier, Keating, McCain was rebuked by the Senate ethics committee. McCain has stated that it was the biggest mistake in his life.

In 1999 he voted in favor of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that stripped regulations of the financial services industry, the act effectively gutted the Glass-Steagall legislation from the Great Depression era that had protected investors from Wall Street malfeasance.

Sen. McCain supported the Commodities Modernization Act in 2000 that explicitly barred the Securities Exchange Commis?sion from regulating credit default swaps, which are at the very center of the current financial crisis.

Sen. McCain has shown a disregard for the safety and security of the investments and retirement savings of working class Kansans in favor of Wall Street high-rollers. Despite the lessons on the 1980s Savings and Loan debacle, John McCain has continued to support the reckless deregulation of the highest level financial organizations.

The Democratic Party with the mission to restore a regulatory framework to our financial institutions will bring back trust and stability in the economy.

Harry E. Bennett



Does this ?deputy? pose liability issues?


After reading an article a couple of weeks ago about Marion County Sheriff deputy Ross Mayfield, who resides in California, I feel compelled to ask some questions about the legalities and liabilities that go along with such an arrangement.

As a Marion County resident and taxpayer, I am concerned. As a person having been involved in law enforcement from 1984 to 2004, I have some knowledge of what can happen that could result in a lawsuit against the sheriff, our commissioners and Marion County, as a whole.

Thus, I ask:

n Question of authority: Is Mayfield a commissioned law enforcement officer? If so, is he commissioned by the state of Kansas? And, if so, is his annual 40 hours of law enforcement training and weapons qualification current so he can retain that commission year after year?

n Question of jurisdiction: Is Mayfield a ?full-time? deputy or a ?part-time? deputy in Marion County? If part-time, does he really have any jurisdiction outside of Marion County? Does he know and understand, and has he received training in regard to the Marion County Sheriff?s policy manual?

If not, Mayfield, the sheriff, our commissioners and all of Marion County can be held liable for any negligence, and open to lawsuits.

n Question of liability: When Mayfield helps another agency and notifies the Marion County dispatcher that he is ?on duty,? who is paying him? Who is responsible for workman?s compensation should he be hurt while ?10-8? in another state, but ?recorded on log? in Marion County?

Is Marion County?s insurance provider going to be held responsible for any injuries, or repairs, if Mayfield should be involved in a vehicle accident while driving to or from a job in another state, but ?on the log? in Marion County? And, worse yet, what if a death is involved?

n Comment: Especially in law enforcement, it?s nice to have ?experts? whom you can call and request their help. However, giving someone a shoulder patch and a badge does not make them commissioned law enforcement officers. In fact, it creates a lot more potential legal problems than the few I?ve listed above.

In today's ?sue happy? society elected officials, be they city council members, county commissioners or a sheriff, must understand the possible repercussions of their actions and decisions.

There is a saying prevalent in law enforcement: ?If you haven?t been sued yet, just stick around a little longer.? No sheriff needs more liabilities than already comes with the office.

And, maybe, here in Marion County, we haven?t been so affected with frivolous lawsuits as in other areas. Then again, we don?t reside near L.A. either, do we?

Hank Shockley



God?s positions are clear in this election


God's Word convicted me to move forward. When Daniel was faced with the decree to pray only to King Darius, he went home, threw open the windows for all Jerusalem to hear and prayed aloud to the living God. He did not keep silent, nor will I.

For Christians, this is one of the most crucial elections in America?s history. We are living in a time when voting for Judeo-Christian principles, the end to abortion (innocent blood), the end of sanctioning lifestyles God considers an abomination, and a platform that supports Israel transcends voting for a particular race, gender or political party.

Throughout Scripture, nations brought God?s wrath upon themselves; not because of the actions of unbelievers, but because of the decisions and actions of believers.

Abortion is not a trivial issue. God repeatedly punished nations for the shedding of innocent blood and warned them to be purged of this sin, so it would go well with them (Deut. 19, 2 Kings 24).

God has also given us explicit instructions in regard to Israel and we must vote for a platform that supports her. Isaiah 62:1 commands us to speak out for Zion?s sake. We are blessed when we bless Israel and cursed when we curse Israel (Gen. 12:3).

Encourage your legislators to support Israel?s right to her land; God will bring judgment to anyone dividing up that land (Joel 3:2).

Let us fall on our knees, repent and seek his face. The United States of America is neither above God?s wrath nor his judgment. The line has been clearly drawn. It is up to us; we cannot afford a wrong choice at this point in time. I do not want the destiny of America to be that of Sodom and Gomorrah, but rather likened to that of Nineveh.

Donald Graumann

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