Smith county commissioners have before them a fifth attempt to pass a new jail plan for the county. This plan, submitted by Precinct One Commissioner Jeff Warr is whittled down to around 30-million dollars. The plan was met with endorsement from the commissioners court and now goes through a state approval process before possibly appearing on the November ballot. I say "possibly appearing on the ballot" because commissioners could opt to go ahead and move forward with the jail project through certificates of obligation, effectively making voters irrelevant in the approval process. While this approach is allowed by law it is not the right way to get this project going. To remove the voters voice at this point will most certainly wreck the confidence that all citizens have in our electoral system. So commissioners cannot let the fear of failure motivate them to build the new jail through certificates of obligation. They have a radically revised and cheaper plan and they need to focus on educating voters and voters need to hear the plan out as Smith county spends millions of dollars a year sending inmates to other jurisdictions. Preserving the voters role in our government is critical and certainly needed in this case, and that will make for a Better East Texas.