Residents of Fulton County will be going to the polls this week to decide if Fulton County needs and can afford (or not afford) to build a new jail.
I, for one, am for the proposed jail, not only because it will keep much needed jobs in Fulton County, and might even increase revenue into the county by housing state and federal inmates, but because the county CANNOT afford not to build a jail.
Where will Fulton County get the estimated $200,000 it will need to house prisoners outside of the county, should this ballot issue fail?
The county is already struggling due to the weak economy. When you look at the comparison of just under $90,000 a year to build the jail, versus $200,000 a year or more not to build the jail, I think the math alone makes it very clear - we need to build this jail.
I live on a dirt road in the county, and am always excited when the road graders make it out to grade the road. Don't build a jail, and we won't be seeing those graders nearly as often, due to fuel costs and budget shortfalls.
Like the low taxes we pay in Fulton County? Don't build a jail and be ready to start paying more, in order to house inmates elsewhere.
The State Jail Commission has made it very clear -- if this ballot initiative does not pass, our jail WILL BE CLOSED.
I, for one, do not want felons, drug dealers and other miscreants walking the streets because we can't afford to house them in someone else's jail.
I agree, the current plan isn't perfect -- I don't like the idea of it being adjacent to Preacher Roe Park either -- but that was the affordable way to go for the county -- it was the only way they could go.
So I'll be casting my vote FOR the ballot initiative to build the new jail, and I won't be waiting until Tuesday to do it. Early voting is now available. Don't waste time. Get out and exercise your right to vote. Do not rely on anyone else to make the right decision for the county. Follow what you believe is right and at least let your opinion be known at the polls.