Not the best proposal …
To the Editor,
First of all, I want to make it clear that I respect and applaud the democratic process. I respect difference of opinion and robust debate. I also recognize that the democratic process makes no guarantee that decisions by the “body politic” are always the best decisions for the citizenry.
Case in point, the Nov. 14, 2006, Lincoln County Board decision to move forward with a $16.1 million building expansion that begins with a new Administration Building at a cost of approximately $6 million. The second stage of this construction schedule provides for an overhaul of the historic Courthouse to continue its use as a courthouse. The third stage of the construction schedule provides for the construction of a jail pod three to five years down the line.
The decision was 16 in favor and five against the proposal. I, along with Dave Fox, Ron Mittelsteadt, Bill Zeitz and Gene Simon, voted against the project. Those voting in favor were Supervisors Dick Berndt, Wayne Plant, Ron Krueger, Bob Weaver, Dan Caylor, Graham Rankin, Arlene Meyer, Frank Saal, Gail Schneider, Bob Lee, Mike Loka, Carl Short, Bob Lussow, Curtis Powell, Jeff Kahle and Greta Rusch.
The reasons I voted against this proposal are as follows:
1. The proposal does not address the problem of jail overcrowding for three to five years which is costing approximately a half million dollars per year for out-of-county transport of prisoners.
2. The proposal is viewed by the Ninth District Court (the court that governs our county Circuit Court system) as an interim solution in addressing the court needs in Lincoln County. We will then be left to support a historic clock tower building with no useful purpose whatsoever.
3. The proposal is the most expensive of the building options available to the County Board for consideration.
4. The proposal creates an administration building away from the Merrill downtown. The Merrill downtown needs infrastructure in order to survive.
5. The proposal adds between eight and 15 new staff positions to the county tax levy. The court/jail pod creates zero new positions.
Your input and influence are needed in order to bring some sense of order back to this process. Please contact your representative with your views. Thank you.
District 13 Supervisor