Supervisor Mike Willett of Verona is one of the few left on the Dane County Board with the courage to fight back against the identity politics that has turned cops and courts into the bad guys. Is even the smaller, $76 million “hospital in a jail” in trouble?
Here Supv. Willett’s report from the front lines:
Tuesday, the Public Protection and Judiciary Committee discussed the first round of budget amendments. Included was the [Wegleitner] amendment to remove the jail funding [entirely]. After about 1½ hours of testimony I made the motion to deny the amendment that would kill the jail funding. My motion died for lack of a second. No one else made a motion regarding this amendment. So it goes forward WITHOUT a recommendation from our committee.
Fine thing from a committee that a few weeks ago voted for the recommendation to fund the jail!
I was asked on the way out by a member of the public if I was the one voting against the amendment and I told them that I was. Everyone was still very civil to me. Everyone should get a chance to voice their opinions about a project as large as this.
Tonight during testimony I learned that:
- We are all racists.
- That the jail is the reason that the infant mortality in the black. population is high; so if we vote for the jail we are voting to kill black babies. (According to the testimonym, infant mortality is double if the dad is in jail.)
- Young Black & Gifted stopped the jail in 2015 and they will do it again.
- Solitary confinement needs to stop.
- They are not going to let us get away with saying that we are doing this for the good of the people in jail.
- This jail costs 100% more in our budget than we budget for affordable housing.
- 170 people are in jail because they are poor.
- Money bail should end.
- When we build it it will be filled up.
- Jail population should be zero.
- New jail generates profit for contractors and banks.
- We need to reject this expansion proposal.
- We can buy a house on Amazon for $36,000 each (although it does not qualify for free shipping).
- Voting to spend $76 million is a vote to put black people in cages.
- Fund the people not the jail.
And many more.
These are simply statements made to us by the public. I have not verified any of them. By the way [the Facts are]:
- The new proposed jail is SMALLER — it is not an expansion.
- It will remove most of the solitary confinement. A cell with glass walls and door IS NOT a solitary confinement cell.
- The new jail is MUCH safer for the inmates as well as the staff.
- The new jail does have more program space.
- The new jail will have many treatment beds.
- The average daily population in the Dane county jail HAS gone down significantly in 2017. Building it WILL NOT fill it up.
- It is the responsibility of the County to SAFELY keep those people that the Courts tell us to House.
But those are just my opinions.
Next week we discuss the two amendment that I made tonight. (I do know there is very little chance my amendment will pass or probably even get a second.)
1) Remodel the upper to floors of the City County Building into new sheriffs offices.
2) Complete the second phase of the consultants report.
The next meeting is the Public Protection and Judiciary committee is Monday Oct. 30 at 5:15 p.m. at the City County Building. Room number to be announced. They are looking for a bigger room.