I hope the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors members are pleased with themselves. About a year ago, they were awarded $80 million by the state to expand the county jail. But in their infinite wisdom, the supervisors sent the money back to the state, deciding not to expand the jail.
Then they turned around and asked the state for $40 million to expand the Honor Farm. The state was going to give them $36 million, but decided to award it to Stanislaus County instead. So now Stanislaus County will get $36 million and San Joaquin has nothing.
I am happy to say that my supervisor, Ken Vogel, originally voted to keep the $80 million. And our sheriff, Steve Moore, is cautiously optimistic that we will still be able to expand the jail without the money. But if the Board of Supervisor members had kept the $80 million they had in the first place, the jail expansion could already be under construction. As it is now, no one has a clue if or when any expansion will ever take place.
If the Board of Supervisors ever asks the county taxpayers to raise taxes to expand the jail, I hope the taxpayers will give them a resounding “no.” And if the state ever wants to send them money again to expand the jail, I hope they will have enough sense to keep the money and do what they are supposed to do with it.
Karl M. Welsbacher Jr.