Use cash on hand for new jail

November 14, 2013 

The purpose of this letter is to respond to recent BND editorials concerning the Madison County Board's hasty decision to let jail bonds.

If the jail needs repair, why not use Madison County's $23 million tax surplus and conduct prioritized repairs in increments and prevent higher property taxes?

Few citizens realize current county bonds will be paid off in approximately two years. Are people aware that if the county lets no new bonds, our property taxes will go down? Given our excess funds from prior taxes, why not give beleaguered taxpayers a break?

If it is true the company letting the bonds is already selected and has provided donations to Democrats, doesn't this appear like a conflict of interest or "pay to play"? Are people aware some estimates for the cost of the company handling the bonds are almost $180,000 at the taxpayers' expense?

This potential conflict of interest wouldn't be an issue if surplus funds were used.

The BND's Oct. 22 editorial further amplified the issue of board member Jack Minner's ties to those participating in the jail renovation process.

Last year some people received County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan's colorful campaign literature touting county government as a "government that works." One wonders if Dunstan's campaign literature meant: Madison County: the government that works for Dunstan's party and its cronies.

Citizens are circulating petitions to place this issue on the ballot. Will you sign?

Philip W. Chapman

Highland

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