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Campaigns Against New Jail Heat Up

Members of both CURB and Occupy Redwood City are upset that the County Manager's recent proposal on how to spend Measure A funds includes a portion to help fund the new jail in Redwood City.

A local activist group that opposes the forthcoming new County Jail in Redwood City sent out a heated message condemning how San Mateo County Manager John Maltbie is proposing funds from the recently passed Measure A be spent.

Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) is upset that Maltbie is proposing that a portion of the funds be spent on the new jail.

In an e-mail to the group's followers, CURB representatives said:

"The fight against the new jail in San Mateo is heating up, and we need your help to keep the pressure on! 

A recent article by the Mercury News highlights that, in a report to the Supervisors, County Manager John Maltbie offers a menu of spending suggestions to divvy up about $60 million of new tax dollars from Measure A. These include paying down existing debt and liabilities, funding capital improvements, financing a new jail, buying a new payroll system, keeping county parks open, or supporting services and programs for children.

Board Vice-President Dave Pine was quoted saying his top priority is to use the Measure A funds "to make sure our fiscal house is in good order" before he considers any new initiatives. That includes tackling the county's deficit, making sure the jail is paid for, and reducing the county's pension liabilities. 

The Board of Supervisors said over and over last fall that Measure A wasn't a "Jail Tax." We need you to join us next week to make sure we call them out and ensure that no Measure A dollars are spent on building a new jail in San Mateo County!"

The e-mail also indicated that CURB members are planning on "all-out" at Tuesday night's Board of Supervisors meeting, "mobilizing" as many people as they can to speak out during the public comments period against using Measure A funds on the new jail. The e-mail urges members to bring "5-10 friends each" to support the effort.

Occupy Redwood City also sent out a message early Tuesday morning indicating that they plan to hold a protest outside the entrance to the Board of Supervisors meeting at 8:30 a.m., before the 9 a.m. meeting begins.

Jess Hansen of ORWC stated, "We are going to ask the supervisors to back up their words. We were challenged for months by the board when we called Measure A a Jail Tax. For the benefit of the people of the county, we hope at that today's meeting they will prove us wrong."

What do you think of the idea of using Measure A dollars to help fund the new jail? Do you think San Mateo County needs a new jail, to be located in Redwood City? Tell us your opinion in the comments below.

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Aaron February 14, 2013 at 05:53 PM
80 long term inmates immediately moved to lahonda. If inmates were to begin staying in the birdcage as-is, they would enjoy a higher standard of living than the women at the Womens Facility, These inmates would have the opportunity to spend some time outdoors, and would be compelled to.. you know ... work off their debt to society. The womens facility could be emptied with the beds that free up from maguire once the above is implemented, but ... if a court mandate came through to close the facility, Temporary minimum security facilities could be established at very low cost. Modular units could be installed on the lower field of the La Honda farm where even long-term offenders coming back through realignment can serve their time repairing the barracks and birdcage. Halfway and recovery programs could house Non-violent offenders, and require inmates to seek employment to pay off their debts. in our county, the solution is a proven part of the problem. The truth of a new jim crowe is a hard one to swallow. Just like a drug addict. First, as a society, we have to admit there is a problem.. the problem is mass incarceration. Cessation is necessary, or the problem will get worse and it will be a slow horrible community suicide. Building a new jail is unacceptable. We don't need it and can't afford it. and can someone please explain to me why San Mateo County does not have a permanent public defenders office?
Buck Shaw February 15, 2013 at 04:58 PM
Well well well. So now you decide after its to late. That those of us who said vote no. Were right after all. If you didn't give them this money there would be no problem. I'm now wondering what the Sups. are doing with the additional vehicle registration fee's just for San Mateo County $10 per unit including motorcycles, ATV's, UTV's and three wheel motorcycles. Intended for Parks I think. We will see.
Buck Shaw February 15, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Money is a drug to politicans. Just say no. Also if you think about it. Thats why people say smaller government is better....
Buck Shaw February 15, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Can't we all just get along...
Aaron February 16, 2013 at 01:54 AM
You forget the question mark.

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