After receiving a brochure in the mail for the proposed new jail and reading the newspapers’ articles, I feel obligated to write another letter.
I believe we do need a new jail. However, once again, I don’t think we have the entire story on the proposed new facility.
It appears to me that the public members of the jail committee believe that we can “make” money by housing other counties’ inmates, especially Scott County. However, Scott County is proposing their own new addition to the Scott County jail. What happens if we don’t get money from other counties? We the taxpayers, specifically landowners, are on the hook.
The proposal is for two jailers to work each shift. Does that mean every shift will have a male and a female jailer? It is my understanding that if we have females, we must have female staff. How many additional staff members will this new jail require? Remember, if you hire one jailer at let’s say, $25,000 a year, you have employment taxes and IPERS that would equate to 9.51% IPERS ($2,377.50), 7.45% FICA and Medicare ($1,862.50), health insurance (I am guessing about $400 a month or more taxpayer share - $4,800) and of course vacation and sick leave given by the county. Roughly $34,000 per employee per year. I’m sure that I’m not even close on the wages, but for this exercise I’ll keep it low. I do not believe the proposal has the correct staffing needed. How can this proposal show fewer staff members per jail cell than the Shive Hattery proposal last year? I’m not buying it.
I do not have a lot of confidence in our sheriff’s department and their ability to tell the truth or use taxpayer funds wisely. After the last two months’ headlines between the sheriff’s department and our county attorney’s office, I think I would like to have a new staff in both offices before committing my hard-earned dollars to a badly needed jail. I am urging all voting age residents to vote no on the jail.