Thursday, May 8, 2008

Why Such Jail Expense? Who Is In Charge?

Recently citizens of Chatham County learned that the new $110,000,000 county jail expansion contract was going to be awarded to a company (The Facility Group) that was recently indicted on 16 federal counts of bribery to elected officials. The bottom line as to costs on this jail project brings up serious questions. Why should the citizens of Chatham County be asked to spend $122,000 per jail bed when other recent in state jail expansions have been completed at a cost of around $30,000 per bed? 

The Savannah Morning News reported that most of the current commissioners said they voted and were prepared to approve the Facilities Group contract based on Sheriff Al St. Lawrence's urging and recommendation. County commissioners have a responsibility to those who elected them and that does include independent thinking for tax payers best interests on all projects.

The Chairman runs commission meetings and directs discussion. He or she has a larger obligation to vet and lead the commission on important issues. How this got by Mr. Liakakis is a curious question that I will be asking Mr. Liakakis through the election discussions and debates.

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