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Jail Opponents vs Jail Supporters

POSTED: Monday, October 13, 2008 - 11:54pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 11:59am

TYLER - Smith County residents had an opportunity to speak their minds on Monday night about the new jail bond proposal.

It was the fourth in a series of town hall meetings leading up to the November 4th election.

It was the first time that members of the opposition committee were formally invited to give a presentation.

The auditorium in the Tyler Public Library resembled a courtroom during the meeting.

Those for the jail sat on one side and those against were seated on the other side.

The new jail bond proposal on the ballot will ask Smith County voters to approve a 59.6 million dollar plan.

The jail plan is less than half the cost of the 125 million dollar bond package that Smith County residents rejected in 2007.

Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith says he's been asking for a new jail for the past ten years.

He says,"For the last four to five years we have averaged over thirteen thousand inmates booked in per year, I don't know if you're all listening to those numbers, thirteen thousand have been booked in to the smith county jail!"

Smith County judge Cynthia Kent is part of a committee that's against the jail, called What Part Of No Don't You Understand?.

She says,"We cannot afford this fifty-nine point six million dollar jail facility in smith county! There are less expensive alternatives!"

Smith County voters will decide for themselves in three weeks.

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