Reappointments of John Alcott to the Airport Board and Curtis Watkins to the Logan County Health Board were approved with a unanimous vote of magistrates.
However, the reappointment of Ken Robbins and Glenn McGehee to the Joint City/County Planning Commission was tabled until the next fiscal court meeting by a a six to two vote, with magistrates Harold Prince and Harris Dockins voting 'no' to Magistrate Jo Orange's motion. "I just wonder if anybody has checked with the commission," said Orange.
A brief battle broke out among magistrates Orange, Dickie Carter, and Harold Prince over the Logan County Detention Center and what it costs to run the facility annually.
Orange and Carter have historically tag-teamed the rest of the court, voting no on paying the jail's bills each meeting, and both have expressed they feel the jail could be run more efficiently.
What sparked the rift was the $65,000, which Treasurer Elaine Jenkins announced needed to be transferred from the General Fund into the Jail Fund.
According to Judge/Executive John Guion, the monies are already allocated for the jail and are budgeted. "This is just the way it is set up," said Guion to Carter and Orange.
"I just think the jail can be run more efficiently with less money," said Orange.
Carter said he wasn't going to give an open checkbook to the jail and agreed with Orange. "I don't want to shut the jail down," said Carter, "but it's our job as magistrates to spend our money more wisely. These are tight times. There is a lack of jobs, which means a lack of tax money coming in. We need to try to work on saving and cutting back."
Magistrate Harold Prince asked Orange and Carter what they would do if the bills didn't get paid and the jail shut down. "Who would pay for the prisoners then?" asked Prince, who added, "You'll have to transfer them somewhere else and that costs a lot more money."
Carter told Prince he knew it would break the county to send the inmates off, but still held fast to his belief of cutting back.
Magistrate Dockins entered the conversation, telling of his visit to a KACO insurance provider meeting where jail costs was a top topic of conversation. "There was a lot of talk about jails and who should pay for them," said Dockins.
Currently, with the exception of state inmates, counties are required to pay for those who are arrested and lodged within the county itself and all costs incurred
A large population of the jail is occupied by inmates from Russellville; however, according to state law, the county is responsible for their upkeep.
Judge Guion asked the court if it would like to continue the tradition of donating $400 to the Toys for Tots charity organization. Magistrate Orange said she feels the organization to be a good one and thinks that each magistrate should support the charity personally, but not with taxpayers' money. The motion carried with a six to one vote.