Letters to the editor for Nov. 8, 2013

Written by Union Democrat staff November 08, 2013 04:00 pm

New Tuolumne County jail a fiasco

To the Editor:

Have the County Administrator and board gone from making bad decisions to panic?

Their latest action, spending $1.975 million for each of ten beds in a facility we do not  need and we certainly cannot afford. The net County cost to “house” detained youths in the new facility appears to be tripled between 2010 and 2015. And $1.4 million for plans!? I am sure there must be some “cookie cutter” plans somewhere.

When Calaveras County set out to build their new jail, they did it correctly. They planned it, they went to the people for approval and financing, and then when the financing was all approved and on the books, they executed. And with all that being well planned and done correctly, it still got totally screwed up. 

Now comes along Tuolumne County — grandiose game plan in hand — a quarter of a billion dollar “law and justice center,” The Administration bought land at huge multiples  above any fair market value, during a time when real estate values had collapsed and people were just dumping their land.

With no money to buy the land, no plan to float a bond, no lenders at all, no support  from the people, they took the money from our Traffic Mitigation Fund. (How are they paying those millions back to us?)

Folks, have you been watching this fiasco? Probably not for two reasons. One being it is not our money — it is other people’s money — we are broke. The other reason, this is frightening and embarrassing to watch. 

Until they stop digging, the hole is just going to get deeper and eventually it will cave in on all of us. Stop any further expenditures on the law and justice white elephant — give us a vote. 

Domenic Torchia

Columbia