Mercer County jail question a hot topic
Letter to the editor,
I'd like to voice some disappointment with the architects of the radio and half page ads blasting the Mercer County Board recently. While we all have the right to make our points and counter-points heard, I think I'm accusing this anonymous citizen's group of some of the same tactics they say the Board is using. If you look closely at this ad, the first and last sentences mention the 1 percent sales tax proposal on the April ballot. All the rest of this long text involves the additional jail spaces to house federal prisoners. If they are against both of these proposals, OK. But to lump these two very different subjects into the same paragraph is clouding the matter of the 1 percent sales tax to the reader.
As to my personal feelings on these matters, I'm for Mercer County joining the rest the counties in this area and putting the sales tax in place. We are the only county around that doesn't use this system to help ourselves. It will generate much needed revenue for this county. I feel the same way about the jail addition, but if I understand the mechanics of it, this matter is already a done deal, and will not be on the April ballot. As to the Henry County problems, there is a lot of history not mentioned in these ads. As to the probability of filling these cells, there are a lot of facts not mentioned. $50 dollars has been the going rate for over 20 years. $60 may not happen, but it is being talked about, and it is not a gross misrepresentation to project it as possible.
I wish this Board would talk to the citizens of Mercer County more often than it does. There are a lot of people who would support both sides of these and other matters if we knew the FACTS better and heard the suppositions less. One absolute fact remains in this economy. If we don't come up with more revenue than we have now, there will be no choice somewhere down the road to raise the taxes we already pay.