Clarification on Jail Vote 7-6-16

July 6, 2016 Update - The County Board on a 4-1 vote (Commissioner Walker was the only NO vote) will spend up to $20 million dollars of your money financing a new Law Enforcement Complex.  Why? 
 
The Department of Corrections pushed the Board to resolve concerns with an aging jail. Commissioners saw a window of opportunity to give the Sheriff a law enforcement building attached to the jail.  It was wrong to imply to the public that it was all mandated by the state.  While a modest jail may be needed; the Law Enforcement Complex was unnecessary.  Why not save money and resolve jail sanctions by just building a jail ? 

I could have voted for a reasonable jail-only project IF other essential public needs were considered as well.  Funding from retiring bonds used to fund the new jail project should also have been used to fund road projects and provide property tax relief.   In the end, the rest of the board was unwilling to listen, compromise, or consider using this money for other needs. 

My comments about this topic in a recent newspaper story were misleading so I will clarify.  The board majority has now spent the money and started building the Law Enforcement Complex.  I consistently voted no. 
 
However, once the building is built, it becomes another one of your county assets.  As such, I will take responsibility for properly managing it, along with all other county buildings, by voting (yes or no) on issues that involve contracting for food and clothing for inmates, electricity, increased staffing, maintenance, etc. 
 
I hope this clarifies why up until this point my vote has been no to build, but in the future it may be yes regarding facility upkeep and maintenance.

Representing Chisago County District 1

North Branch C, Chisago City, Lent Township, and North Chisago Lakes Township

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