City, county should cooperate
I wish to express my appreciation and admiration for all those in Red Willow County who took an active part in the discussion about the price and location of the $5.1 million Red Willow County jail.
In my opinion, it is important for citizens in all levels of government to take an active role in deciding the issues which face cities, counties, states and the nation.
While Red Willow County Commissioners exercised power allowed them by legislation, I still feel it is unfortunate that they chose to build the jail without a vote of the people.
Because of that belief, I will appeal to this region's state senator, Mark Christensen of Imperial, to introduce legislation in the 2013 session of the Nebraska Legislature to require a vote of the people for county projects costing in excess of $250,000.
That being said, I still feel it is a mark of good citizenship for Red Willow County citizens to encourage our elected leaders and law enforcement personnel to work cooperatively to provide law enforcement and jail services.
Therefore, I suggest the following:
1. For the Red Willow County Sheriff's Department and the McCook Police Department to begin discussions immediately aimed at achieving improved efficiency and economy in providing law enforcement services to the citizens of Red Willow County;
2. For a special panel, chosen by the commissioners, to develop a plan to fully utilize the 24 cells in the new jail. This will be necessary to create a revenue stream as an eight-to-10 average prisoner count, as estimated by jail planners, will be a drain on county resources. Rental of cells to other county, state and national agencies could minimize that cost;
3. For the Red Willow County Commissioners and the McCook City Council to resolve to work cooperatively to provide governmental services to the citizens of the city and the county. To work at cross purposes with different agendas, which has been the case too often in the past, is a disservice to the citizens of Red Willow County and the City of McCook.
Gene O. Morris,