If local news is not considered carefully, the way it has been served up to the public could give a skewed view of the results of recent negotiations with the company providing the county with management services for our jail.
The fact that County Judge Craig McNair’s leadership ultimately reduced the size of the proposed increases by CEC is imbedded in the negative tone of all of the news accounts. It is in there, but it appears in no way like anything successful or praiseworthy. Why, one might wonder?
Always suspicious of a liberal bias one might conclude that those who articulated the story follow their old habits of not wanting Republicans to look good. After all, despite Commissioners Todd Fontenot’s and Melvin Hunt’s election year attempts to sound like elected officials who are protective of government waste, both seemed in a hurry to sign off on the contract that would cost the county hundreds of thousands of dollars more. To analyze the new contract in comparison to the proposed one that Democrat were anxious and eager to sign would give Republicans some kudos, but it also would remind the voters of just how poorly democrats have managed the county’s fiscal affairs over the years.
But anti-Republican media could have taken a shot at a Republican if they had wanted to. Or at least they could have taken a shot at an elected official that ran one time as a Democrat and one time as a Republican. Re-read media accounts and the information that the media has provided is troubling. The potential for some bad hank panky is right there in news accounts. And it points squarely at Sheriff Henry Patterson.
Patterson according to quotes in local news accounts, did some deciphering of his own on the cost of managing the jail. And he claims it would be too costly for the Sheriff to add managing the jail to his day to day responsibilities. The interesting part of Patterson coming up with this higher figure is what did he do with it. He is a good friend to the warden of the jails, Timothy New.
According to sources, contract negotiations were at $57 a prisoner. Why did they go up to $64? Waller County pays less than $38 a prisoner for the same services and has almost exactly the same number of prisoners. Sheriff Patterson went out of his way to thank some people for their efforts on this matter, but I am not so sure we should be thankful for his input. Did he give Timothy New the cost projections he turned into the county? Did he cause the bids to go up? Or better yet, did Timothy New tell Patterson what to bid? It would be interesting for the commissioners’ court to demand his work product that shows how he calculated what he turned in.
Even with the bid inexplicably going up nearly 12% and reducing the amount we saved from the original proposal, we salute Judge McNair. True conservative leadership is long overdue in this county. As for CEC and Patterson, explain Waller County and expound on your analysis on the cost of running Liberty County’s jail or know that there are many of us that look forward to the day we have nothing more to do with you.