Robert Ballay: Lawrence Countian questions law enforcement tax
Our county jail is so over-loaded that prisoners must be housed in other counties, and those counties reimbursed.
That expense strains the county budget and prompts the county commissioners to propose a “Law and Order” tax, to be voted on in April. But, the commissioners refuse to clearly state that the sheriff will continue to receive his historical percentage of the general revenue budget. Could the commissioners possibly have their eyes on that money?
No one I know of disputes that although our county population has been relatively constant, crime has spiraled upward (drugs?). But, as a social security recipient, I cannot remember the last time I received a (laughably small) raise that was not eaten up by a Medicare premium increase.
The treatment of senior citizens is a disgrace. They can eat or go to the doctor, but not both. Retired citizens have been “tightening their belt” for years, and the paper processing departments in the county government can well do the same.
On the other hand, there is only the sheriff standing between us and that over-crowded jail full of prisoners. To allot money to law enforcement with one hand, and take it away with another, is deceptive.
In essence, the county commissioner are holding law enforcement hostage, and it is time for them to clearly state whether they are serving the citizens of Lawrence County or themselves.