Letter: Citizens will get ‘jail’ vote at lastRising heating, fuel and food prices have placed a real burden on Wabasha County families.
By: Tom Fischer, Gilford Township, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
Rising heating, fuel and food prices have placed a real burden on Wabasha County families.
This applies to almost all citizens with the biggest exception being Wabasha County commissioners. The new jail has added considerably to everyone’s budget burden. The state forced this decision. It is still questionable if we needed to spend $22 million.
To read the reports, they county is saving so many dollars on the jail a person may begin to think we’ll get tax rebate checks soon. The reality is the board will make staffing decisions for the jail soon. Many positions will be dictated by the Department of Corrections.
The decision to “rent” out beds to other counties is up to commissioners. Renting will increase staff size and dollars spent.
The next year will be critical. Typically the operating expenses of a new facility will be considerably higher per annum than the annual bond cost of the new facility. If our commissioners and sheriff decide to add 16 to 35 employees we will all feel the pain.
Citizens finally get to vote on something: we can choose two new county commissioners this fall.
Commissioner Donny Springer supported raising our part-time county attorney’s wage to over $82,000 per year. We have to analyze if this type of spending is appropriate. I would guess that Mr. James Nordstrom has hard times and has higher taxes like we all do.
Elected officials have not been forthcoming on their jail budgets and sheriff’s department planned expenses.
A change in leadership is the only way to bring change about. We need to choose stronger, wiser leaders in District 1 and 3 in November and in the primary Sept. 9. In one perspective, we finally get to vote on the jail.