In about a month, taxpayers in Smith County will be asked whether or not they will help pay for a new $125 million dollar jail. Commissioners held a town hall meeting Monday asking for the public's feedback. As the bond election date approaches, more and more residents are speaking out.More >>
A brand new jail is headed to downtown Tyler, but only if Smith County voters want to pay for it. Smith County Commissioners finally presented their plan for a new jail to be included on the November ballot. However, the price tag comes in higher than originally thought. KLTV 7's Layron Livingston has the details, including where this extra money will go. More >>
Last week this segment challenged the Smith County Commissioner's recent decision to give themselves a pay raise. In fairness I invited Smith County judge Joel Baker to respond. Although he declined the invitation to appear as a guest commentator he did offer this response.More >>
For several months now, I've used this forum to express opinion on issues that effect East Texans. I've also shared some of your opinions sent to me by mail or email. Today, we hear from former Smith County Commissioner, David SteinMore >>
The Smith County Jail proposal has been a total political disaster. And millions of your dollars are at stake. There's even a serious proposal out there to release some prisoners from jail to relieve overcrowding. Unfortunately, the more this gets discussed the more dysfunctional our Commissioners Court appears to be. And that's whyI believe the current court needs to stop what they're doing and wait on new leadership to take over. More >>
We need a new jail in Smith County.The proof is all around us. Just last week, evidence from a 19 year old drug case threatened to contaminate the Smith county office building. And then there's the 4 million dollars a year that's going right out of our Smith county to house prisoners someplace else.
You would think the bond election for a NEW jail would be a slam dunk. But it's not. One of the main reasons is because the commissioner's court lost the confidence of a lot of Smith County voters just a few weeks ago. I hear it from people everywhere I go. They are disgusted and ready to vote against the bond because of one item:On August 28th, all commissioners but one voted themselves a 30 per cent pay raise and gave the County Judge a whopping 45% salary increase over the next three years. Then the commissioners raised our property taxes more than 7 % next year to help pay for those raises.
I have an idea - four words for the Smith County Commissioners - Give the money back.
Reject or rescind your pay raises until the next budget cycle. Don't take the money until you get the job done...or more importantly until your constituents feel you've earned it.
Such a gesture won't make a dent in the price of the new jail, but it may help you earn enough voter confidence to help the bond pass.
Give the money back. If you want to show voters the new jail must be a top priority for everyone, then prove it is a top priority for you.
Give the money back. Your effort will open some minds before the election, and prove that you are willing to join taxpayers in sacrificing for a new jail, and a better East Texas.
Brad you are right on regarding the bond issue and the raises given to the County Officials. "Give the money back" is the only RIGHT thing to do. Get the job done and then they might deserve it.
Great job Brad.
Mr. Streit, While I wholeheartedly agree with most of your commentary on "A Better East Texas", being that you are the VP and GM of KLTV, a news station, I believe you should leave the politics and opinion up to the politicians. I think your involvement in spreading an opinion (even while presenting facts) puts you in a position where you can be interpreted as having a conflict of interest with what's being reported in your newscasts. I understand in a perfect world, you wouldn't mix opinion with news but one can only wonder how much influence you have on your employees when you have such strong feelings towards one issue or another. While I see no problem with pushing your agenda or opinion, I am concerned (as a faithful KLTV viewer) that viewers that may not see eye to eye with you may switch the station to other newscasts that, in their eyes, are truly objective. I would suggest you remove the KLTV logo and your title as to not become part of Tyler's already overdramatized political scene, unless of course you have eyes for political office. Regards, Mr. Martinez
I love the editorials at the end of the 10 PM news broadcasts. Last night's message about the new jail controversy and the distrust created by the large pay raises for the judge and commissioner's court was the best. Well said!