Board of Supervisors meeting was a sham

Published 6:51 pm Friday, February 22, 2019


After last night’s [Thursday] Board of Supervisors meeting (A SHAM), it became crystal clear that it has been the Board’s and County Administrator’s plan for this project [the juvenile correctional center] to go forward well over a year ago, when it was decided behind closed doors to be submitted to the State General Assembly to be included in the state budget and before it became public knowledge.

Let me explain why I called the meeting a sham:

1. After only two days the County Administrator’s Office produces “answers” to 33 questions and concerns raised at the Windsor Town Hall meeting on the evening of Feb. 18. In two days of course there was a lack of substantive detail, numbers and the basis for them even though the answer to question number 32 states: “The County has spent over a year researching and studying this project.”

You do not have to expend a lot of effort on something when you decided in the beginning it was a done deal. Again we were given more glittering generalities about jobs and economic impact no numbers and basis for them (not needed when you know it is a done deal, or they won’t support your project).

Finally at the Feb. 18 Windsor Town Hall meeting, the County Administrator produces a ROI (return on investment) calculation; it could have been done in 15 minutes or less by a middle schooler on the back of a napkin. [There were] Questionable numbers (value of the property) and no real detail other than selling water and sewer services. Again, where is the real rigor on the economic gains and losses for the community and the county taxpayers?

2. After over three hours of presentations, some individuals left the Board material to review of studies and research that went into their presentations, less than two hours after the last presentation the Board votes to go forward. Minimal review and discussion (disregard) of the over three hours of presentations. You do not need much discussion if your mind is already made up to go forward. But the meeting was held and “questions answered” to get the check in the block and now in the future be able to say “we held public comment meetings and answered the questions.”

I asked last night “Where is the timeline for this project?” I am sure DJJ has one and something had to be developed to go to the General Assembly for approval. I am sure it is out there probably in the fog of the County Administrator’s “Demonstrated transparency in the process.” Otherwise, why the rush to jump off the cliff?

EDA had a regular meeting on Jan. 7, voted not to transfer the land, and then a “called meeting” 16 days later votes to transfer it. Of course the answer to question 18 on this was a play on words. “The EDA’s first vote on Jan. 8 was a decision to “not transfer the land to either the County or State at this time.” Therefore, it was not voted down but effectively deferred, a nice whitewash. And only two days to answer the Windsor Town Hall Meeting questions and concerns and then hold this meeting and vote.

This morning [Friday] the news reports, “What the people need to understand is that this step just allows us to negotiate with the State,” said William McCarty, chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “If we don’t come to terms the deal is off.” I say they came to terms before it went to the General Assembly for approval and funding, and that unless something dramatically changes we are getting a prison outside of Windsor.

I would like to thank Supervisor Don Rosie who took my call yesterday while at work and in the middle of responding to an accident. He was polite and helpful, unlike what I heard about one of the other supervisors with their constituents.

Again I would like to thank the Windsor Weekly for their continued coverage of this important issue.

Glen Little