Resident questions need to build new courthouse

Published 12:06 pm Saturday, October 28, 2017

To the Editor:

I take this opportunity to express my personal feelings on the vote which we are about to undertake concerning the new courthouse building. It is my personal belief that is a complete waste of our hard-earned money. To spend $26,000,000 on a new courthouse complex, which is not necessary, is an extra government expenditure this county does not need.

If there is a need to expand existing facilities for the offices in Courtland, it can be accomplished by expanding the present building. I have not seen the plans for expansion, but we surely do not need an elaborate building as is proposed. A simple addition to the current building will be sufficient. I understand that this can be done for about $7,750,000. Such an expansion will certainly fulfill the actual needs of the Commonwealth Attorney and Clerk’s Office, and provide both offices with adequate space to fulfill their duties and obligations to the public at large.

The complete renovation calls for a third courtroom. I cannot foresee any need at all for a third courtroom at this time or in the foreseeable future.

As I read Judge [Carl] Eason’s letter, he specifically seems only concerned about the security arrangements for the judges. Although there should be adequate security for all judges, it should not call for all of the improvements suggested such as elevators, a third courtroom or private parking areas to cover any possibility of excess judges. A private access for the judges to go to the Clerk’s Office appears to be an unreasonable expense.

If absolutely [necessary], a new draft of the area could be made to include the access the judges believe necessary.

Understanding the needs of the court to make any courthouse to satisfy the needs of the judicial branch of government, the county government also needs to look at the expenses of the general public and the increase in capital to pay for the new courthouse.

Another concern as we address the need for a courthouse is the necessity of a third courtroom. What is the caseload to justify this third courtroom? How often would it be used and by whom?

The question becomes whether we are looking for a new big building or a functional courthouse.

Vote “No” on the referendum on Nov. 7.

Richard Grizzard