One of the few proper roles of our government is to operate a civil and criminal justice system. In a civil society, crimes must be adjudicated impartially and disputes must be resolved peacefully. In Polk County, over the past decades, we have cobbled together the building space used to support our court system. The current space is crowded, unsafe, and inefficient. Detainees, judges, jurors, and the public cannot be properly segregated to ensure proper safety for all.
Five years ago, Polk County voters rejected as too expensive the then proposed $127 million bond referendum that included the construction of a new court building. Now, the County and other interested parties have brought forth a significantly less expensive proposal that achieves the same goals.
On November 5th, Polk County voters are being asked to approve an $81 million bond issue that, if approved, will add $12 – $13 per year to the property tax on a $100,000 house. The money will be used to renovate our existing historical Courthouse, convert the JC Penny/Wellmark building immediately North of the Courthouse into a “Justice Center Annex”, and convert the Old Main Jail immediately East of the Courthouse into a “Criminal Court Annex.” These changes will provide for a much safer and more efficient court system.
Those promoting this project have have responded thoughtfully to the objections made by voters five years ago, and have made sensible changes to reduce costs while achieving important goals. Polk County voters should vote YES on this “Public Measure A” on November 5th.
See the following link for more information: http://www.safepolk.com/