The new Bradley County Justice Center was supposedly ordered by the Grand Jury to be built to relieve overcrowding and was to be designed to utilize staff to the maximum efficiency. Because Bradley County Sheriff Dan Gilley refuses to answer awkward questions from the press, I am forced to ask them in this forum.
Why does the new facility require more staff to supervise the same amount of prisoners... and if the new jail will be filled with extra federal and state prisoners, why aren't they footing the bill? If they are paying for prisoner care but the money is being utilized to build a more expensive facility than was sanctioned by the community, with local funds used to supplement supervision cost, isn't that misleading the taxpayer? Also, if we fill the new jail as soon as it is built, what was the advantage of having it in the first place? A Citizen recently asked county commissioners if the old jail had a maintenance budget. Although he didn't elaborate, the inference was why wasn't the old jail maintained in good shape?
You may expect a flurry of smiling faces in the Cleveland Daily Banner next week, so look out for them and think of the Clintons. I have a feeling the new jail is destined to become a permanent festering sore on the county budget.
What do you think?
Pipes and whistles
A popular line for those demanding money for new and refurbished schools is the need to move into the twenty first century by installing the latest hard wired computer technology and internet connections. Director of Schools, Bob Taylor says Walker Valley High School is state-of-the-art, good for 20 years and should be used as a bench mark for improving other schools in the system. $60 million has been spent in the past few years with estimates in the $100 million mark as a final figure.
Anyone, anyone even casually familiar with computers will tell you that as far as computer technology is concerned only one thing can be relied upon - that is that no matter how advanced a system you buy, it will be outdated by next year. With the phenomenal advances in wireless technology and the ever changing operating systems, does Taylor expect Walker Valley to be state-of-the-art in five years time - is it state-of-the-art now? It is highly probable that in the not too distant future classrooms as we know them will be a relic of the past. The money being spent to upgrade to a bench mark technology may ultimately prove a costly mistake.
Every student in the Bradley County School system could be furnished with their own personal laptop or home PC for less than $8 million, probably less than $5 million but they would be obsolete in a few years. Anyone who owns a computer will tell you that chasing technology is a fruitless task.
What do you think?