Recent editorial misrepresents the facts about county judge’s silence
Jun 16, 2011 | 749 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print

The last line of your most recent editorial misrepresents the facts, as I see them. This could be the basis for the county judge’s decision not to respond to your alleged inquiries. If your coverage of this commissioner’s court meeting reflects your “commitment to deliver all sides of an issue” I can understand her reluctance to allow you to “present” her side of an issue.

At the May 31st, 2011 commissioner’s court meeting,, former judge Alfred Pawelek spoke and a 25 minute radio interview, with Judge Pawelek, was presented by Beze Stimpson. Judge Pawelek’s concerns about the courthouse restoration were clearly portrayed yet you have no mention of his “side of the issue” in your newspaper article..

Additionally, you reported Maggie Hunt’s incorrect assessment regarding prisoner beds, yet you failed to report the news that the jail standards commission informed the Commissioners’ Court, that the Karnes county jail had failed to pass inspection. Therefore, effective August 1, 2011, Karnes County will no longer have a county jail that can house prisoners. Again, your definition of “delivering all sides of an issue” remains in question.

I have not seen any “news” reported regarding the cost overruns on the annex building or the fact that the water table is within inches of the foundation. It is my understanding that in the past few weeks, the contractor dug a trench on the north end of the annex and when the workers returned the next morning, the trench contained about 8 inches of water. I wonder how long it will be until the annex has foundation problems similar to the courthouse? The cost of the annex building currently stands at approximately $4,300,000 and that figure does not include the cost of landscaping, putting in a parking lot or building a courtroom. It is my belief that the Karnes county taxpayers have and interest in and a right to know where the current construction project stands before they are forced into another one.

There is a group of citizens that is pushing hard for the county to blindly go forward and tear the wings off the courthouse, with no commitment, only hope, of a $5,000,000 grant.

This could place Karnes county in the middle of a $10-$12 million dollar restoration project, with no guarantee of assistance from the state historical commission. This same group that is pushing for the expenditure of taxpayer funds, without allowing the taxpayers to vote on how those funds are spent, is the same group of citizens who supported the expenditure of taxpayer funds on the annex building, without a taxpayer vote.

What has happened to the democratic process of allowing the taxpayers to exercise their right to vote on how their tax dollars are spent and reporting news no matter which side it falls on?

Betty Yarter

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