Most of us don't pay much attention to the Madison County Board. But I want to alert people to something the board is doing: Raising their property taxes by $1.3 million a year for the next 20 years without their approval or consent.
The sheriff says that he needs $18 million to upgrade the jail. I put more than 1,200 offenders in the jail when I was a prosecutor, so I know the value of having a good jail. But $18 million works out to a $60,000 per cell "room upgrade," and doesn't even add one new cell. In addition, the county has more than $18 million in the bank that isn't being used. Why the huge tax increase without a vote by the taxpayers?
Here is board Chairman Alan Dunstan's explanation: "Sometimes when you're in county government you have to make a decision for the people because you know more about the project than they know about the project." (KMOV Nov. 4) We think the voters are intelligent enough to make up their own minds.
We will never get to vote on how to finance the jail upgrades unless we gather 18,000 signatures on petitions by Nov. 18. Currently, volunteers have gathered more than 8,000 signatures.
Please volunteer to help pass petitions. Petitions are available by contacting the organizers at 618-623-2796, Facebook at bondsonballot, or by email at email@example.com.
We think the voters, not the politicians, need to decide this issue.