Publisher's Note: This was originally sent as an email to all Republicans (Paid for by the Committee to Elect Stan Deatherage) within the structure of the campaign to re-elect Beaufort County Commissioner Stan Deatherage, and now appears here as news and information on Eastern NC NOW.
Commissioner Stan Deatherage
The Strong Voice for the Taxpayer
Dear Fellow Republican,
The issue of spending many millions of taxpayer dollars
to build a new Beaufort County jail is again raising its head. This has been a pet project of liberal Democrat commissioner Jerry Langley for many years.
The two questions that need to be answered are: 1) do we really need
a big new jail?, and 2) can we afford it?
Our present jail was thoroughly renovated
two years ago at a cost of $2 million. Since its renovation, it has passed two state inspections
with flying colors, 100% in compliance. It is certified for occupancy by 87 inmates but actual head counts of prisoners have been running at about 50. The overall population of Beaufort County is declining, not growing according to the federal census.
Based on the facts, there is no demonstrated need
for an expensive new jail. Borrowing money to build one at a time we are entering a recession and our sales tax revenues will be falling would be ill advised. It would create a big risk
of property tax increases during a recession.
To try to bridge the divide among commissioners on this issue, I proposed using $2 million of the federal Covid money given to the county to renovate the western part of the courthouse basement as additional jail space. It is now used as storage. This would have helped with juveniles and female inmates. It also would not
have required any county borrowing.
Unfortunately the "new jail"
faction on the county commission has taken this and added
another $13 million of borrowed money to add a new 2 story addition in the parking lot behind the court house. The cost of their project will likely climb even more than that.
Two of my opponents this election year are helping promote this unnecessary big spending for an unneeded jail. Ed Booth is a liberal Democrat who almost always votes in lockstep with Langley. He is a big supporter of Langley's new jail
. Frankie Waters in his first campaign pledged
opposition to the new jail and signed a pledge to that effect to the Stop the Jail Committee. But then Waters wanted to form a governing coalition with Langley
, so he flip-flopped on his pledged opposition to the jail
My position has been consistent since this issue first came up a number of years ago. I will support building only what it is shown that we actually need
and can afford
, I will only support borrowing money for it that is approved by county voters
in a bond referendum.
Several years ago, the commission tried to do an end run around the voters
and a bond referendum by seeking to borrow money for a new jail directly from a lender
. That was shot down, but I fear some on the commission may try that stunt again. Last year, I offered a resolution to limit county borrowing for major spending to that which the county voters approve in a bond referendum. That resolution failed to pass the commission
, with my opponent Ed Booth, and other Center-Left Coalition
members voting against it.
The saga of Langley's crusade for a new jail is a microcosm of the differences in taxing and spending philosophies
among the various commissioners. I have always been and always will be a fiscal conservative
, and voters have been able to count on that during my past service. They can continue to count on it
in the future.
I humbly ask for your vote and support so that I can continue standing up for our taxpayers on the Beaufort County Commission.
Please visit my website at standeatherage.com
, or email me at email@example.com to discuss any issue. If you would like to offer support, especially by volunteering or placement of a yard sign, please contact me as well.