Open Mike

I could have built the jail by now

Politics have always amazed me. You have people who run for office, kiss all of the babies and make promises about what they will do for you and others. Politicians are the great salesmen of life, always finding a way to get you to buy something while paying that outrageous hidden interest fee. Buying into their line, the citizens usually vote for someone who forgets about why they ran for political office in the first place. A favorite line of thinking I am learning from politicians is that they are there for the people, but the people shouldn't know all of the facts about everything.

People of Yakima County should be very upset with our county commissioners-Jesse Palacios, Jim Lewis and Ron Gamache. The county has acted very irresponsibly in building the new jail. I used to be the one covering the story on the jail Yakima County wants to build and it astonished me some of the things that took place.

But now it is time someone calls this entire process of this never ending soap opera of siting a jail in Yakima County what it was, which is a joke. I believe the commissioners and Jake Jundt, who is the project jail manager, knew the entire time that they were going to locate that jail facility at the county fairgrounds.

Let's see, Jundt, who is being paid very well, is in charge of constructing this jail for the county in hopes of making some money for our cash strapped county. But from what I know the county has spent a few million dollars on the concept of the jail and received nothing in return.

By the way, how can the county begin construction on the jail if a citizen's group is currently appealing the decision of the Yakima County commissioners to place the jail at the fairgrounds. On a side note, I have often wondered about this. The citizens group went before the county hearing examiner with their complaints, and the hearing examiner ruled that the county did nothing wrong with its evaluation of the property. But doesn't the hearing examiner work for the county officials who are trying to place the jail at the fairgrounds? Sounds fishy, huh?

When the county went through the circus of trying to find a location to place the jail last year, there were no hard facts presented. In fact, there were just some rough estimates presented concerning such areas as transporting prisoners down to Sunnyside. I thought that was very irresponsible of the county to not even have hard facts to back up their decision. I could have saved them a lot of work and told them right at the beginning it would be cheaper to build at the fairgrounds because the county owns the property. Sort of a no-brainer, one would think.

I just get tired of hearing about all the hassle surrounding the jail. Like I said, I could have built the facility by now and I would have done it for a lot less expensive price.

The funny part of all this is that if the county had chosen Sunnyside as the site the project would have been well underway by now, if not completed. But I guess there is a reason why this is Yakima County and not Sunnyside County.

Politicians. They are a fickle bunch, aren't they?


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