Just on the surface, it is unsustainable. It has not been adequately justified, it has not had public hearings on this current plan, and it is simply bad business.
But the problem is deeper than that, and I would like to share my view based on several years of tracking the behavior of our officials related to the Mailer and the Electioneering overreach.
It appears that the jail industry has current “lobby politicians” in the elected/hired positions of our current Executive, the Sheriff, and the Prosecutor.
They have been in office for decades in Whatcom County. They are the people in direct responsible charge of the mess we have in the jail right now, for it’s happened on their watch.
– Notice that through administrative choice, they could have already reduced the overcrowding.
-They could have already repaired and fixed the operating issues to produce a humane jail that is legal, they are in charge of emergency management.
-They chose not to do that, and to instead save up millions for a new sheriff’s facility…and to plan to build a jail that won’t be ready for years.
-They have spent their time and your money spending millions to plan for bigger and bigger facilities when crime rates have been dropping.
-Notice that the taxpayers have already passed two different taxes giving them tens of millions with the mental health sales tax and the current jail tax to take care of the problem.
From my point of view, this all boils down to misuse of power. It appears that they have accumulated way too much power to control elections, control conditions, control due process. These men, through their positions, have been using their authority, power and social privilege to indiscriminately intimidate taxpayers into giving them even more power through this tax. I don’t agree with that.
This misuse of power is quite evident by the size, scope, content, and price of the mailer recently sent out from Whatcom County, authorized by Jack Louws in collaboration with the prosecutors office and the sheriff. That mailer was clear propaganda since it lacked many facts that would have been necessary to be anything less. Then it was inappropriately paid for by taxpayers, in what I believe is in violation of campaign laws. It is certainly out of integrity with taxpayers trust in these authorities.
This provides clear evidence that these men should not be entrusted to protect our freedom any longer, nor to manage our money. They certainly have not demonstrated trustworthy behavior in this case. The consequences of this mailer is affecting our elections and our freedom; and these are two of the most sacred trusts of Americans.
After this mailer, I started to really understand the implications of decades of power-mongering. These three men together are 1-2-3 directly in charge of our budget, in charge of law enforcement, and in charge of who goes to jail, stays in jail, or gets sued.
This means that in effect, they control people with taxes, fear and punishment. This control is administered by the white paper weapons of budgets, contracts, courts. As a taxpayer, this essentially means that the system says that if you fail to mind, then you are first penalized, then threatened, punished and controlled by incarceration.
Directly or indirectly these men approved the mailing of a biased document produced by a hired jail consultant paid for by the taxpayers. This jail consultant has received millions in contracts (paid for by taxpayers) to assess, design, consult, advise, and then promote this jail. And then, they are paid to promote this jail plan and this tax. It seems that somewhere in here there is a conflict of interest wouldn’t you say?
Something is deeply wrong with this picture. What is it?
The way I read things, if this tax passes, then the people in the administrative positions of power…the Executive, the Sheriff and the Prosecutor…have the implied right to:
1) Produce any size jail they want, since there is no truly agreed upon plan.
2) Expand upon it as they wish – for they have about 40 acres of land to use, plus they can build up as well.
3) Plus they will have an unlimited and automatically expanding budget paid for by sales taxes that are earmarked specifically to build and operate a jail.
Conclusion: In essence this is a free ticket to grow and expand regulatory and punitive government on the backs of taxpayers. Earmarked and authorized.
Frankly, there are then no checks and balances by the taxpayers, or even the Whatcom County Council really. In reality, the Executive, the Sheriff and the Prosecutor manage and are in charge of all the data and administration of the jail, the courts, the budgets. So they in effect control the information flow to the Council, and the Prosecutor tells them what is legal and what is not. The Council doesn’t have independent council, which makes them vulnerable and co-dependent.
In five years of watching, testifying and analyzing this jail planning process, I have seen how this control of information has led to the mess we are in right now.
This is why I agree with the idea that this is a true tax heist. Plus, it is more than that. This is a dictatorial power grab to completely control the people of Whatcom County by unwitting and implied consent.
This tax creates earmarked funds, backed up by administrative authority, and the threat of punishment. It is a slight of hand trick that I don’t buy.
This past mailing was incredible for it was timed perfectly so this administration could control the power of the press, and there would be no time for the public to rebut effectively the negative repercussions. Louws had the taxpayers funds to use, and they used it. The way it was presented in that mailer provided implied authority.
If this Executive gets away with this deception, and this tax passes, then these men will have the direct power and the money to do whatever they wish. It will be virtually impossible to get the tax repealed.
Please wake up and stand up and be counted. Please Vote NO on this JAIL TAX!
This is a case of what I am calling socio-economic-civic bullying – a government authorized version of systemized violence against taxpayers. It is similar to domestic violence in the home. Different, but similar.
It is time to stop the violence, and reclaim our honor as taxpayers – locally and right now. I feel that this mailer is in violation of all integrity, if not many campaign laws.
How do we do this? We call a Technical Foul, and bench this group of officials. The only people who can do this is the Whatcom County Council (if they take action) or directly by the voters in this election.
Voters are the people who hire these guys.
1) Vote NO on the jail tax and revoke their budget grab.
2) Vote to elect me, Joy Gilfilen, so that I can be the County Executive.
As your County Executive I will do my best to correct the imbalance of power, and will committ to getting accurate and complete information to the Council, and I will listen to your ideas, solutions and information.
I would love to have your vote in making things right with the taxpayers whether they are the inmates, the staff, the community.
In fact, lets stop dishonoring those hardworking employees and solid citizen people who are doing good work in our community to keep us safe.
It is my observation that most people – from farm to city – do not like this situation. The reason the power mongers get away with it, is threefold: 1) most people trust them just because they promised to protect us, 2) because many people are afraid to speak out, and 3) people typically don’t know what to do.
I have studied on this, and I have figured out what can be done. So I am speaking out against taxpayer abuse – on all levels. To me, this is right action.
You can read my economic plan to replace this at my website Voting For Joy .com. Look up the document called, “Stop Punishing Taxpayers, Start Rebuilding Community” that I co-authored. It took me years to diagram the problem so that it could be solved. And I believe that we in Whatcom County have what it takes to do real Jail Reform.
Please vote for me, Joy Gilfilen. I want to help correct the imbalance of power. I want to fairly serve our Council so they can take care of our inmates and repair our community. I want to help them restore equilibrium after what I have witnessed is gross administrative bullying. Our council needs support and information so they can implement better economic policies that put people to work, rather than into debt or jail.
This will not be easy, but now is the time to put me to work helping our cities and our county staff clean up the mismanagement of the jail. Please allow me to help our children skip the school to prison pipeline, so that they can become self-sufficient taxpayers.
We need to cherish and protect our freedom, not squander it away to jail industry privateering.