Group Pushes For "No No" Vote On Smith County Jail Proposal

On Saturday, voters will decide on two proposals for the New Smith County Jail. One that would cost $83 million dollars in bonds for a downtown jail. The other, a $75 million dollar bond package for a remote location. Both sites have their pros and cons. However, one group calling itself the "No No" committee doesn't like either option.

"People are being told they have two options when they have three. They can vote for one and against the other or they can just vote against both," says, Ken Good, "No No" Committee Member.

That's the message Ken Good and others in the "No No" committee want to get out. The committee disagrees with the way Smith County Commissioners put both jail proposals together.

"The two proposal that they have on the table are absolutely incorrect," says Bob Randall, Treasurer "No No" Committee.

The first problem committee members have, the removal of the county's probation department from the jail.

"They left out the probation department all together," says Randall.

"That's a big big item which means that these are not the maximum that we are going to spend but the beginning," says Good.

Second issue, security. "The lack of integration, that's why we built the jail downtown and built a tunnel from it and the courthouse. So we could get people from the jail to the courthouse security and neither one of these proposals address that," says Good.

While the committee agrees that the county needs more jail space, they say there is a better way.

"We believe "no no" we can do better. We do need to do an incremental approach and we need to build off what we already own," says Good.

"Vote no on both proposals, because we are going to give them a better opportunity to make a decision and get a better product for the buck we spend," says Randall.

For now, they hope their "No No" campaign message is heard loud and clear by voters.

During early voting more than 4,000 people turned out. Saturday is city and county elections, polls will be open from 7 AM to 7 PM. Keep in mind you can vote on both jail bond proposals.

Karolyn Davis, reporting.