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June 20, 2018

4/14/2009 1:09:00 AM
Can O' Worms #11
Amnesiacs Negotiate in the Dark
The official dedication of the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center was held on Sunday, January 23, 1994. I recently came across the 12-page handout that was distributed at the ribbon cutting ceremony on that day. Two pages from the handout have been reproduced and accompany this article.

The handout contains information concerning joint occupancy of the facility by the Shelby County Sheriff's Department and the Shelbyville City Police that I think is worth sharing with you.

And worth sharing with Shelbyville Mayor Scott Furgeson.

And worth sharing with Tony Newton and his fellow Shelby County Commissioners.

Following is the message to citizens from the 1994 County Commissioners.

"To the citizens of Shelby County:

It is with great pride that we dedicate the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center.

Our old jail has served us well for the past 120 years. Erected in the years 1872-74 at a cost of $52,000, it contained 18 cells and two hospital rooms. The present capacity is 46 beds and two cots after the last remodeling in the 1970's.

In October of 1990 Shelby County was mandated by the State of Indiana to build a new facility to house prisoners. Shortly thereafter, the decision was made to build the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center. On July 10, 1992, ground was broken and construction was started.

Our goals were: (1) to save tax dollars by combining both the Shelby County Sheriff's department and the Shelbyville City Police in the same building; (2) to design and build a new structure which will be most efficient in terms of manpower and run efficiently on a day-to-day basis; (3) that the new structure be constructed to serve our needs well into the next century with consideration given for future expansion.

As county commissioners, we could not achieve these goals alone. Hundreds of hours have been donated by our citizens. We appreciate the time and effort of the Feasibility Study Group, the Sheriff's Department, the City Police, the County Council, and the Jail Holding Corporation. We especially salute Sheriff Mike Herndon for all his thoughts on the design and follow-through on the project. We also appreciate the project manager, the architects and the contractors who completed this fine facility ahead of time and under budget.

All the citizens of Shelby County should share our excitement and pride in seeing this project completed.

Sincerely,

Bruce Knecht, David Mohr, Robert Wade

Shelby County Commissioners"

Do you find it interesting that the Shelby County Commissioners stated their number one goal was "to save tax dollars by combining both the Shelby County Sheriff's Department and the Shelbyville City Police in the same building"?

It seems to me that goal number one is a clear, understandable, unambiguous statement of original intent.

Reinforcing the original intent is an additional statement that I have highlighted on page 3 of the handout. The Commissioners said:

"The Shelby County Sheriff and the Shelbyville City Police Departments will share this magnificent facility well into the 21st century."

The 21st century began on January 1, 2001 and will end December 31, 2100. Therefore it is reasonable to conclude that the commissioners expected joint occupancy of the facility to continue even after the final bond payments are made. And, of course, there is no mention of rent payments.

Shelby County citizens have received no information concerning progress of any current "continuing occupancy negotiations" between the city and the county because Mayor Furgeson has indicated that he is unwilling to negotiate and County Commissioner Tony Newton refuses to negotiate "in the media."

Why is it that so many public officials don't like to discuss the peoples' business in public? Do they derive some perverse pleasure from leaving us in the dark?

Anyway, here's another reminder guys, "any and all controversies" relating to the occupancy contract must be "settled solely by arbitration."



Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Article comment by: Elmer G. Snerd, III

Dee. I am glad we have you doing our in-depth reporting since our local "newspaper" seems to want to only focus on telling us in pathetic detail about the tastiness of the stuffed squash at the restaurants in Timberlake Casino (by the way, the formerly unknown younger brother of Elvis - whose name is Alphonso Sammy - is slated to give an Elvis Tribute concert there next month).

Not wanting to negotiate "in the media" means that these PUBLIC officials do not want the public to know what they are doing. This is pretty much standard operating procedure in Shelbyville/county these days, isn't it?

Lastly, I agree with commonsense. Take away McNamara's hippie persona and stupid Alice Cooper campaign and he was a decent candidate who could have beaten Furgy.

But, I guess we couldn't take that stuff away, could we?.....


Posted: Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Article comment by: commonsense

So what is there to negotiate? Next election I hope we have better choices in candidates. Preferably some that can read and comprehend. Way to dig up the facts Dee. I hope you are mailing them copies!



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