Judge Baker On Jail Bond Defeat - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/6/2007-Smith Co.

Judge Baker On Jail Bond Defeat

KLTV 7 spoke to Smith County Judge Joel Baker about the $125 million jail bond package defeat.

"The court is going to have to take a step back evaluate what happened and see where we go. I am one person, one member of the court. We will have to look at it as a court and decide where we go," said the Judge.

We also asked him why felt the voters did not approve the 125 million dollar jail bond.

"I can't answer that quiestion. I know that this is the best plan. We have worked very diligently with the task force of citizens who have volunteered their time, with the best experts from across the nation," Judge Baker said.

We gave his response to the opposition, who are saying the self-appointed pay raises for the court is the reason the bond failed.

"The pay raises have nothing to do with this plan. The salary plan is a separate issue. It the salaries that are objected to are $35,000 of a big budget," Judge Baker said.

We then asked him if he would be willing to issue Certificates of Obligation without voter approval.

"I have been very clear. I am against certificates of obligation," said Judge Baker. "I will not vote for Certificates of Obligation. I have heard no member of the court mention they are in favor of that either.

"And starting over is not an option. We have made many decisions based on plans and studies that have been paid for by the best people in the county," said Judge Baker.

"I have no animosity toward anyone on the oppostion. I am willing to work with any member of the community on this issue," said Judge Baker.

Danielle Capper, Reporting. dcapper@kltv.com

 

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